Elderly fall then bleed???

  1. Had an elderly man who lost his balance and fell backwards. Xray showed a crack in back of hip. Went downhill after a couple of days, vomiting blood and then died. I believe he had some lung disease, silica or asbestos. How would a fall have triggered this?????
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    About JellyBean1

    Joined: Apr '03; Posts: 37


  3. by   moia
    I doubt the fall caused a a GI bleed but certainly the stress from the fall and all the ensuing chaos after could have made a preexisting condition fatal. The elderly are incredibly fragile and one event can cause a cascade affect.

    More convincing is the patient was having a GI bleed became faint from blood loss and fell, the hip fracture may have had no serious repercussions but I can bet the doc prescribed bed rest and a blood thinner to prevent clots and made a manageable bleed catastrophic.
    I don't believe the fall was the problem, it's what caused the fall that should be the concern.
  4. by   susanmary
    Thinking internal organ damage -- any injury to liver/spleen noted? Any gross hematoma(s) noted on body s/p fall?
  5. by   sharann
    Quote from susanmary
    Thinking internal organ damage -- any injury to liver/spleen noted? Any gross hematoma(s) noted on body s/p fall?
    I was thinking possible organ trauma(maybe something tore). Guess its one of those things we may never know(without autopsy)
  6. by   Teacher Sue
    The patient wasn't autopsied? In my state, the coroner would have been notified of the patient's death, and an autopsy would have been ordered. I once had a very similar situation to this one, and the coroner would not release the body to the family until after the post-mortem.
  7. by   oramar
    It is a well known fact that the death rate is fairly high for elderly persons in weeks after a hip fracture. I think I read a statistic somewhere that said as many as one in three are dead within a year under those circumstances.
  8. by   suzanne4
    Did he receive any NSAIDs after he fell? They are used quite often in the
    elderly, unfortunately for some.............Definitely should have had an autopsy, since it was after an injury, an unexpected occurance as they are called...............this is the law in many states just as Sue has stated.
  9. by   JellyBean1
    Wow lots of replies. Thanks. Actually the man was in long term care and not a transfer. He was walking and likely lost his balance and fell backward. No bruises or trauma immediately noted. He was more or less fine for the first night then the next day took a turn for the worst. Thought maybe he had thrown a clot from the hip fracture. Thought game over and seemed like he was dying then. He did bounce back but then starting to throw up dark blood. Soon after died. He had some sort of lung condition I believe from working in the past with asbestos or silica. No autopsy.