Jeffrey Brubacher

Associate Professor

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Master's Student Supervision (2010 - 2020)
Outcomes in suicidal bridge jumping in the Lower Mainland (2020)

On average, one person attempts suicide by jumping from a bridge in the LowerMainland of British Columbia once every 14 days, but the population that jumps and theiroutcomes following a suicide attempt are poorly understood.A multi-agency retrospective chart review was performed using records from theCanadian Coast Guard, Joint Rescue Coordination Center, police departments, and theBritish Columbia Coroner’s Service to identify incidents. A complete picture of eachincident was then built by identifying corresponding BC Ambulance Service and hospitalrecords, and linking all records for each incident. This methodology successfullyidentified a comprehensive list of incidents, and may be useful in future prehospital andsearch and rescue medicine research. Records from the ten agencies involved in theseincidents were collected and linked to create a dataset describing all known jumps from abridge >12m in height in the Lower Mainland of BC from January 1, 2006 to February 28,2017. 1208 incidents were identified, 273 were confirmed jumps, and 197 were jumps intowater. The multi-agency linkage portion of the study was highly successful; outcomeswere identified for 90.6% of all incidents.The population that jumps from a bridge is similar to those who commit suicide by othermeans. Those jumping are mostly male (74.9%), and early to mid-life (IQR 28-48 years).Of those who jumped and hit water, 59.9% were promptly recovered, 25.4% wereiiitransported to hospital and 15.2% survived. Survival is dependent on bridge height,patient age, and time interval between jumping and being recovered from the water.The presence or absence of vital signs, and level of consciousness (measured on the AVPUscale) on recovery appears to prognosticate survival to hospital discharge. This may assistprehospital care providers making treatment decisions for these patients.

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