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Injuries associated with bunk beds occurring at schools: results using a US national data base
  1. Randall T Loder1,
  2. Luke Momper2
  1. 1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine and James Whitcomb Riley Children’s Hospital, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
  2. 2 School of Medicine, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Randall T Loder, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA; rloder{at}


Objective To investigate bunk bed injuries occurring across all educational institutions using a national data base.

Methods National Electronic Injury Surveillance System data for the years 2006–2015 associated with bunk beds was analysed.

Results There were an estimated 639 700 emergency department (ED) visits for bunk bed injuries; 1.3% occurred at school. Those occurring at school were older than those not at school (18.2 vs 12.8 years), and more commonly female (56.4% vs 40.6%), Caucasian (91.7% vs 68.3%) and associated with alcohol (10.8% vs 0.4%). For those occurring at school, the average age for those involving the trunk, upper extremity, lower extremity and head/neck areas was 17.9, 14.9, 19.2 and 18.7 years, respectively (p<10−4). A fracture was present in 6.4%, 52.3%, 21.2% and 9.6% of the trunk, upper extremity, lower extremity and head/neck areas, respectively (p=0.009). Males had a higher percentage of lacerations and females had a higher percentage of internal organ injuries. The vast majority of the fractures and strain/sprains occurred in the extremities; lacerations in the head/neck and contusion/abrasions predominantly involved the extremities and head/neck.

Conclusions 1.3% of all ED visits due to bunk bed injuries occurred in places of education. The majority of these were during college age. Prevention strategies should be directed at educational institutions and students, as well as following proper bunk bed equipment guidelines. Education regarding alcohol risks might assist college age students.

  • education
  • alcohol
  • multiple injury
  • environmental modification
  • fall
  • descriptive epidemiology

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  • Contributors RTL conceived and developed the study, collected data, performed statistical analysis and drafted and edited the paper. LM collected data, assisted in statistical analysis and contributed to drafting and editing the paper.

  • Funding This research was supported in part by the Garceau Professorship Endowment, Indiana University, School of Medicine, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Rapp Pediatric Orthopaedic Research Endowment, Riley Children’s Foundation, Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval This study was considered exempt by the Institutional Review Board of the Indiana University School of Medicine.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.