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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 367-370

Childhood injuries in a tertiary institution in north east Nigeria

1 Department of Surgery, Federal Medical Centre, Gombe, Nigeria
2 Department of Surgery, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Issa Abdul Razaq Esin
Department of Surgery, Orthopaedics Unit, Federal Medical Centre, Gombe, P.M.B. Gombe, Gombe state
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0189-6725.125450

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Background: Injury has been recognised as a preventable cause of morbidity and mortality in children. The aim of this study was to determine the aetiology, pattern and location of childhood injuries in north east Nigeria. Materials and Methods: This is a 3-year retrospective hospital-based descriptive study. The study included 114 children (77 boys, 37 girls; mean age 6.4 ± 3.2 years; range 2 months to 15 years) who were admitted for various injuries in the female/paediatric surgical ward from January 2007 to December 2009. Information obtained from their case notes included demographic data, mechanism of injury, location of injury, anatomical site of injury and outcome of treatment. Results: Records for 114 children (77 boys, 37 girls; mean age 6.2 years; range 2 months to 15 years) were available for analysis. The highest number of injuries occurred in the age group 6-10 years. Home was the most common location of injury among the age group 0-5 years while older children sustained most of their injuries outside the home on the street/highways. Burns from hot water was the most common injury among children aged 0-5 years while pedestrian accident accounted for the highest cause of injury among older children. Fall accounted for 20.2% of the injuries. The most common specific anatomic injury was head injury followed by limb fractures. Two mortalities were recorded (1.8%). Conclusion: This study provided useful information on the characteristics of childhood injuries in our environment. There is the need for parents and children education about the risks of injury and preventive measures in addition to legislation and policy on environmental modifications and enforcements to significantly reduce childhood injury.

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