Pattern and severity of childhood unintentional injuries in Ismailia city, Egypt
In 2009, more than 746 000 injury cases were registered in the Ministry of Health hospitals in Egypt, with an injury rate of 1 004/100 000 population. Around 38% of all injuries occur among children and young adults less than 20 years of age. Furthermore, more than 20 000 people lose their lives to injuries every year (27/100 000). However, these data lack information on injury pattern, severity, provided care and outcome of injuries, which are essential data for planning injury control programmes.
The aim of this study was to determine the frequency, nature and risk factors of childhood injuries in the Suez Canal University Hospital Emergency Department.
The study included a total of 551 children of 12 years of age. The most common causes of injuries among those children were falls (60%), road traffic injuries (15%) and burns (7%). The most commonly sustained injuries were fractures (23%), cuts or open wounds (21%), sprains (20%) and burns (13%). Overall injury severity scores (ISSs) were low across all injury types, except road traffic injuries (RTIs). The majority of patients were treated and discharged without disability (50.5%), while 7.4% had long-term temporary disability that lasted for more than 6 weeks, and 1.9% sustained permanent disability. There were two deaths (0.4% proportionate mortality); both of them were due to falls from a height.
In conclusion, the study confirms the feasibility of documenting the burden of childhood injuries on health systems in Egypt. It also confirmed the need for tailored injury-prevention research in Egypt. The resulting data should encourage interventional trials to be conducted, appropriate injury-prevention strategies to be implemented and timely interventions to be planned.
Keywords: Childhood unintentional injuries, Egypt, risk factors.