Rhabdomyolysis and elderly fallers

Elderly people who have fallen make up a large proportion of the ambulance workload: falls and fall-related injuries are prevalent within the older population, with half of those aged >80 years falling annually. Rhabdomyolysis is a common and potentially life-threatening condition, which has many causes. It occurs when the contents of skeletal muscle are released into the bloodstream and cause an obstructive cast in the glomerulus, leading to acute tubular necrosis and acute kidney injury. Of the multiple causes of rhabdomyolysis, significant ones are statin use and falls where elderly people are immobile for prolonged periods of time. However, a large number of patients are discharged by ambulance crews following long-lie falls, and they are more likely to request ambulance reattendance in the following month and have increased mortality rates following discharge from ambulance crews. Rhabdomyolysis often occurs after the initial fall, so emphasis should be placed on recognising not only the condition but also those at increased risk of developing it.

Jakob Schulz -