A 4 year review of hand injury in children: experience from Benin City
Background: Children are, by nature, very inquisitive, adventurous and often rebellious to authority. This behavior often puts them in harms way. The hand, being an organ of manipulatory activity is usually deployed to use and often gets involved in injurious circumstances. Prompt evaluation and treatment of these injuries is required to prevent or limit loss of function.
Patients and Methods: This is a 4-year retrospective study spanning from January 2010 to December 2013.
It includes all consecutive cases of hand injuries seen in children presenting to the burns and plastic surgery unit of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City Nigeria during the 4-year period.
Results: A total of 20 patients were seen in the period under review with a male: female ratio of 1.1:0.9. The mean age was 8.2 SD 5.6. Majority (45%) of the injuries were domestic; followed by motor vehicular accidents (MVA) with 20%. The right hand was affected in 55% and 20% in the left hand. 75% of the patients had right hand dominance, and 15% were left hand dominant. Primary wound suturing sufficed as treatment for 65% of cases. Debridement was done for 15% of cases. 20% of cases required more complex surgical repairs.
Conclusion: Pediatric hand injuries are a real hazard, especially in the domestic setting. Children need to be guided and properly monitored at play in order to limit the risk of potentially debilitating hand injuries. Prompt and efficient care will help to restore function speedily.
Keywords: children, hand injuries, Benin City