Water traffic accidents, drowning and alcohol in Finland, 1969-1995.
OBJECTIVE: To examine age- and sex-specific mortality rates and trends in water traffic accidents (WTA), and their association with alcohol, in Finland. MATERIALS AND METHODS: National mortality and population data from Finland, 1969-1995, are used to analyse rates and trends. The mortality rates are calculated on the basis of population, per 100000 inhabitants in each age group (<1, 1-4, 5-14, 15-24, 25-44, 45-64, > or = 65), and analysed by sex and age. The Poisson regression model and chi2 test for trend (EGRET and StatXact softwares) are used to analyse time trends. RESULTS: From 1969 through 1995 there were 3473 (2.7/100000/year; M:F= 20.4:1) WTA-related deaths among Finns of all ages. In 94.7% of the cases the cause of death was drowning. Alcohol intoxication was a contributing cause of death in 63.0% of the fatalities. During the study period the overall WTA mortality rates declined significantly (-4% per year; P < 0.001). This decline was observed in all age groups except > or = 65 year olds. The overall mortality rates in WTA associated with alcohol intoxication (1987-1995) also declined significantly (-6%; P = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: In Finland, mortality rates in WTA are exceptionally high. Despite a marked decline in most age groups, the high mortality in WTA nevertheless remains a preventable cause of death. Preventive countermeasures targeted specifically to adult males, to the reduction of alcohol consumption in aquatic settings and to the use of personal safety devices should receive priority. (+info)
The prevalence and distribution of bruising in babies.
AIM: To obtain a prevalence rate and determine the distribution of accidental bruising in babies. METHODS: 177 babies aged 6-12 months were examined naked to look for bruises. They were seen in health visitor hearing test clinics and child health surveillance clinics. The site, size, shape, and colour of bruises were recorded on a skin map, and the parent's explanation noted. Any other injury was recorded. Data collection included the baby's age, mobility and weight, demographic details, and health visitor concerns. RESULTS: Twenty two babies had bruises, giving a prevalence rate of 12%. There was a total of 32 bruises, 15 babies had one bruise. All bruises were found on the front of the body and were located over bony prominences. Twenty five of the bruises were on the face and head, and seven were on the shin. The babies with bruises on the shin were mobile. There was a highly significant increase in bruises with increase in mobility. CONCLUSIONS: The study has produced a prevalence and distribution of bruising in babies and sets a baseline from which to work when assessing bruises. It also tested out the methodology, which could be used in further research, particularly of younger babies. Clinicians need to assess a baby's level of development when considering whether a bruise is accidental. (+info)
Patients' experience of surgical accidents.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the psychological impact of surgical accidents and assess the adequacy of explanations given to the patients involved. DESIGN: Postal questionnaire survey. SETTING: Subjects were selected from files held Action for Victims of Medical Accidents. PATIENTS: 154 surgical patients who had been injured by their treatment, who considered that their treatment had fallen below acceptable standards. MAIN MEASURES: Adequacy of explanations given to patients and responses to standard questionnaires assessing pain, distress, psychiatric morbidity, and psychosocial adjustment (general health questionnaire, impact of events scale, McGill pain questionnaire, and psychosocial adjustment to illness scale). RESULTS: 101 patients completed the questionnaires (69 women, 32 men; mean age 44 (median 41.5) years. Mean scores on the questionnaires indicated that these injured patients were more distressed than people who had suffered serious accidents or bereavements; their levels of pain were comparable, over a year after surgery, to untreated postoperative pain; and their psychosocial adjustment was considerably worse than in patients with serious illnesses. They were extremely unsatisfied with the explanations given about their accident, which they perceived as lacking in information, unclear, inaccurate, and given unsympathetically. Poor explanations were associated with higher levels of disturbing memories and poorer adjustment. CONCLUSIONS: Surgical accidents have a major adverse psychological impact on patients, and poor communication after the accident may increase patients' distress. IMPLICATIONS: Communication skills in dealing with such patients should be improved to ensure the clear and comprehensive explanations that they need. Many patients will also require psychological treatment to help their recovery. (+info)
Injuries caused by falling soccer goalposts in Denmark.
OBJECTIVE: A falling soccer goalpost is associated with the potential risk of serious injury that can sometimes even be fatal. The aim of the study was to analyse the extent of the problem in Denmark and focus on the mechanism of injury and prevention. METHODS: Data were analysed for the period 1989-1997 from the European Home and Leisure Accident Surveillance System, which is an electronic register of the injuries seen in the casualty departments of the hospitals of five selected cities in Denmark representing 14% of the Danish population; in addition, fatal accidents in the whole of Denmark since 1981 were examined. Forty two injured persons were interviewed about the circumstances of the accident. Attempts were made to estimate the proportion of goalposts secured by counterweight in the five different regions, compared with the proportion secured with ground stakes and those that were unsecured, by analysing data from the largest producers of goalposts in Denmark. RESULTS: In the period 1981-1988, two fatal accidents were recorded. In the period 1989-1997, 117 people were injured by a falling goalpost; six of the injuries required hospitalisation. Some 88% of the injured were under the age of 15. In a telephone interview with 42 of the injured, 50% stated that the goalpost fell because someone was hanging on the crossbar. Comparing the five different regions with respect to the proportion of goalposts secured by counterweight and the number of accidents, the following relation was found. Areas in which a high percentage of the goalposts were secured by a counterweight correlated inversely with a high number of accidents (r = -0.9; p = 0.04). CONCLUSION: Soccer is a widely played sport and it is important to be aware that accidents caused by falling goalposts can occur and that they presumably can be prevented by proper use of goalposts, by using secure goalposts, and by securing old goalposts with a counterweight. (+info)
Child health statistics review, 1998.
There is a broad spectrum of data that can be used to describe the health of young people in the UK. These data are of varying quality, reflecting in part the methods used to collect them. However, it is often frustrating trying to locate information relevant to young people: so many of the apparently obvious sources of data, such as routine surveillance data, are either not collated centrally, or are not related to a defined population. Perhaps, with the recently introduced changes in commissioning health services within England and Wales, local pressure will bring about an improvement in this. (+info)
What problems do patients present with outside normal general practice surgery hours? A prospective study of the use of general practice and accident and emergency services.
BACKGROUND: This study was designed to address some current issues concerning the use of general practice and accident and emergency (A & E) services outside normal surgery hours. METHOD: Six general practices in Nottingham (with a combined population of 46,698 patients) were recruited to take part in the study. Over a six month period, data were collected on patient contacts with general practice services and the local A & E department outside normal surgery hours. RESULTS: General practice services dealt with 63 per cent of first contacts over the course of the study. There were 3181 (136 per 1000 patients per year) contacts with general practitioners and deputizing service doctors (of which 1009 (31.7 per cent) were dealt with by telephone alone) and 1876 (80 per 1000 patients per year) attendances at the A & E department. There were marked differences in the distribution of problems that patients presented to the two types of service. The proportion of presentations dealt with by telephone alone by general practice services varied with the type of presentation. However, the use of the telephone was not particularly high, even for problems such as a sore throat. CONCLUSIONS: Given the differences in presentations to both general practice and A & E services there may be limited scope for altering patients' consulting patterns without making significant changes to service provision. However, there may be scope for increasing the proportion of general practice contacts dealt with by telephone alone. (+info)
How members of the public interpret the word accident.
OBJECTIVE: To explore what the word accident means to the lay public. This interpretation is of interest because it has been raised by injury control professionals as one justification for discouraging use of that word. METHODS: A national telephone survey of 943 adults in the United States was conducted. Respondents were selected at random from households whose phone numbers were generated using random digit dialing techniques. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine if respondent characteristics predicted their interpretations of the word accident. RESULTS: Eighty three per cent of respondents associated preventability with the word accident, and only 26% felt that accidents were controlled by fate. However, 71% thought that accidents could not be predicted, and 4% felt that accidents were done on purpose. Age, education, income, and race emerged as independent predictors of various accident interpretations. CONCLUSIONS: Only in the case of "unpredictability" does the public's interpretation of the word accident match many experts' expectations. The concept of "unintentionality" is what seems to be communicated most strongly by use of the word accident. Persistent attempts on the part of injury control professionals to eliminate this word from social discourse may result in unintended consequences, which are discussed. (+info)
Open water scuba diving accidents at Leicester: five years' experience.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine the incidence, type, outcome, and possible risk factors of diving accidents in each year of a five year period presenting from one dive centre to a large teaching hospital accident and emergency (A&E) department. METHODS: All patients included in this study presented to the A&E department at a local teaching hospital in close proximity to the largest inland diving centre in the UK. Our main outcome measures were: presenting symptoms, administration of recompression treatment, mortality, and postmortem examination report where applicable. RESULTS: Overall, 25 patients experienced a serious open water diving accident at the centre between 1992 and 1996 inclusive. The percentage of survivors (n = 18) with symptoms of decompression sickness receiving recompression treatment was 52%. All surviving patients received medical treatment for at least 24 hours before discharge. The median depth of diving accidents was 24 metres (m) (range 7-36 m). During the study period, 1992-96, the number of accidents increased from one to 10 and the incidence of diving accidents increased from four per 100,000 to 15.4 per 100,000. Over the same time period the number of deaths increased threefold. CONCLUSIONS: The aetiology of the increase in the incidence of accidents is multifactorial. Important risk factors were thought to be: rapid ascent (in 48% of patients), cold water, poor visibility, the number of dives per diver, and the experience of the diver. It is concluded that there needs to be an increased awareness of the management of diving injuries in an A&E department in close proximity to an inland diving centre. (+info)