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Unexpected severe intra-abdominal injuries resulting from a ground-level fall in an elderly patient with a large staghorn calculus


A 70-year-old woman on warfarin was transported to the emergency department after a ground-level fall, injuring her left backside. Criteria for geriatric trauma activation was not met. An episode of haematuria created suspicion for an intra-abdominal injury, prompting a point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma scan, which was positive. Subsequent pan-scanning discovered a multitude of injuries, including low-grade left renal and splenic lacerations, multiple left rib fractures and a haemothorax. Patient also had a supratherapeutic International Normalized Ratio (INR), which was reversed with 4-factor Prothrombin Complex Concentrate (4F-PCC). She was admitted to the intensive care unit, underwent urgent thoracostomy and had a complicated hospital course. Moreover, an incidental large staghorn calculus in the left kidney might have contributed shearing forces. In summary, under triage of this patient emphasised the importance of performing detailed primary and secondary surveys, including POCUS, for all geriatric ground-level fall patients on anticoagulants to allow for rapid diagnosis and treatment of potential serious injuries.

  • accidents
  • injuries
  • warfarin therapy
  • trauma
  • resuscitation
  • prehospital

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