Somnambulism: Emergency Department Admissions Due to Sleepwalking-Related Trauma.

Sauter, Thomas; Veerakatty, Sajitha; Haider, Dominik G; Geiser, Thomas; Ricklin, Meret; Exadaktylos, Aristomenis (2016). Somnambulism: Emergency Department Admissions Due to Sleepwalking-Related Trauma. Western journal of emergency medicine, 17(6), pp. 709-712. University of California 10.5811/westjem.2016.8.31123

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INTRODUCTION Somnambulism is a state of dissociated consciousness, in which the affected person is partially asleep and partially awake. There is pervasive public opinion that sleepwalkers are protected from hurting themselves. There have been few scientific reports of trauma associated with somnambulism and no published investigations on the epidemiology or trauma patterns associated with somnambulism. METHODS We included all emergency department (ED) admissions to University Hospital Inselspital, Berne, Switzerland, from January 1, 2000, until August 11, 2015, when the patient had suffered a trauma associated with somnambulism. Demographic data (age, gender, nationality) and medical data (mechanism of injury, final diagnosis, hospital admission, mortality and medication on admission) were included. RESULTS Of 620,000 screened ED admissions, 11 were associated with trauma and sleepwalking. Two patients (18.2%) had a history of known non-rapid eye movement parasomnias. The leading cause of admission was falls. Four patients required hospital admission for orthopedic injuries needing further diagnostic testing and treatment (36.4%). These included two patients with multiple injuries (18.2%). None of the admitted patients died. CONCLUSION Although sleepwalking seems benign in the majority of cases and most of the few injured patients did not require hospitalization, major injuries are possible. When patients present with falls of unknown origin, the possibility should be evaluated that they were caused by somnambulism.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Anaesthesiology (DINA) > University Emergency Center
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gastro-intestinal, Liver and Lung Disorders (DMLL) > Clinic of Pneumology

UniBE Contributor:

Sauter, Thomas; Geiser, Thomas; Ricklin, Meret and Exadaktylos, Aristomenis


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




University of California




Rahel Holderegger

Date Deposited:

01 Feb 2017 10:39

Last Modified:

02 Feb 2017 13:20

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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