Accidental injuries in the Pediatric Emergency Department
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KeywordsEmergency Department Foreign Body Child Abuse Emergency Department Visit Open Reduction
To study the spectrum of accidental injuries in the Pediatric Emergency Department of a community hospital.
Setting: Pediatric Emergency Department (ED) of a Community hospital with around 10500 ED visits annually. The hospital conducts DNB Pediatrics, MCEM and BSc Accident & Emergency Technology Courses.
Participants: 784 Children with accidental injuries between 0 and 18 years of age who attended ED in a 10-month period from January 2013 to October 2013. Design: Retrospective observational study.
Tools: The ED records of the study group were analysed retrospectively.
Of a total of 8855 children seen in the ED during the study period, 784 (8.9%) presented with accidental injuries. The age distribution was 48 (6.1%), 345 (44%), 172 (21.93%), 131 (16.71%), 88 (11.2%), in <1 year, 1-5 years, 5-10 years, 10-15 years and 15-18 years age groups respectively. Falls accounted for 492 (62.8%), cut injuries 76 (9.7%), RTA 60 (7.7%), poisoning 48 (6.1%), sports related injuries 39 (4.97%), burns 32 (4.1%), crush injuries 15 (1.91%), foreign body 12 (1.53%), fight with peers 8 (1.02%), child abuse 2 (0.25%).
In 495 (63.1%) males, falls accounted for 307 (62.4% of total), cut injury 56 (73.7%), RTA 37 (61.7%), poisoning 25 (52.1%), sports related injuries 28 (71.8%) burns 18 (56.3%), crush injuries 7 (46.7%), foreign body 7 (58.3%), fight with peers 8 (100%), child abuse 2 (100%).
Majority of accidents occurred in evening hours (290, 36.9%) and at home (457, 58.2%). Of 552 falls and RTAs, 115 (20.8%) and 86 (15.6%) sustained head injury and extremity fracture respectively; 3 (2.6%) and 18 (21%) required immediate surgical intervention and open reduction respectively.
232 (29.6%) cases required hospitalisation. There was one death (a 15-year old girl who fell from terrace). Falls were the major cause of injury irrespective of age and gender.
A longer study period could have perhaps yielded a larger spectrum of injuries.
Childhood accidental injuries can cause serious morbidity and mortality. Injuries peaked in the 1-5 years age group with falls being the leading cause of injury. Studying epidemiology of childhood injuries can help formulate effective preventive strategies and increase parental awareness.
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited.