Spinal cord injuries can be devastating and have life long implications. A traumatic spinal cord injury is difficult to recover from for most all individuals. However, frail victims of spinal cord injuries may have a much higher risk of adverse effects and complications than healthy individuals. These complications can include greater occurrence of hospitalizations and death after the injury.
According to the results of a new study that was published in the Journal of Neurotrauma, frail victims of a spinal injury are at a higher risk of possibly life -threatening complications after the injury. The researchers identified spinal cord injury victims from between 2004 and 2016. The average median age of the patients was 50.3 years. Out of a total of 643 patients that were studied as part of the research, 77 percent were male. Falls were the leading cause of spinal injuries, with more than 60 percent of the patients, having suffered a spinal injury as the result of a slip and fall accident.
The researchers found that in patients below the age of 60 years, a person’s frail condition was a fairly reliable predictor of the number of adverse events, in-hospital mortality as well as length of hospital stay. In patients that were between 61 and 75 years of age, the frailty index also predicted the number of adverse events, length of hospital stay as well as in- hospital mortality. However, in patients above the age of 75, frailty did not predict any outcomes.