Falls, Injury, Wheelchair falls, Wheelchair safety



  1. Opalek, Judy M. PhD
  2. Graymire, Vickie L. RN, MS
  3. Redd, Deidre MD


Falling from a wheelchair can result in a serious injury. Our report details injuries sustained by 30 individuals who fell from a wheelchair and presented to our level I trauma center over 5 years. Most fall victims (60%) were older than 65 years. The most common injuries were traumatic brain injury, femur fractures, and concussion. The most serious injuries were traumatic brain injuries and a vertebral fracture with resultant spinal cord injury. In the trauma setting, practitioners discharging patients using wheelchairs should be aware of this mechanism of injury and should provide education to ensure proper fit and use of the device.