Older Trauma

For the first time there are 12.5 million people aged 65 or over living in the UK, which equates to 18% of the population. Nationally this is the fastest growing age group in the UK and the Office for National Statistics estimate that by 2040 one in seven people in the UK will be aged 75 or over. The Trauma Audit Research Network (TARN) reported that there are more older major trauma patients in England and Wales than ever before, and low level falls are now a leading cause of severe injury. 

The pan London older trauma group comprises multi-disciplinary professionals with expertise and interest in managing older injured patients. This group have produced clinical guidance for the management of older trauma patients within Major Trauma Centres and Trauma Units.

Download the third edition of the guidance here: Pan London Major Trauma System Management of Older Trauma Patients. Third Edition

Definition of 'Older Trauma'

Published reports on the care of the older trauma patient lack consensus for the definition of which age may be considered ‘older’. For the purposes of our guidance, older is defined as a patient aged 65 years or over. We acknowledge that this may be 60, 65 or 75 in some trauma settings.

Older trauma screening tool

Many older patients will attend hospital with an 'atypical' major trauma presentation (e.g. low level fall/vague history/minor mechanism) and initial triage should consider the potential for significant injury. For older trauma patients who don’t initially activate a trauma team response, we recommend that EDs use an older trauma specific screening tool (see below/page 26 in our guidance) in order to reduce the risk of missed injuries, ensure appropriate management pathways and promote optimal outcomes.


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