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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 171-174

Childhood injuries in a teaching hospital setting, Nnewi, South-East Nigeria

Department of Surgery, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Anthony Ifeanyi Ugezu
Department of Surgery, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State
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DOI: 10.4103/tjmr.tjmr_6_17

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Background: Injuries resulting from accidents are of the most common cause of morbidity, mortality, and disability in childhood. Injuries in children are global problem occurring in all countries of the world. Aim: The aim of this study is to determine the pattern of injuries sustained during childhood and to recommend appropriate preventive measures. Materials and Methods: This is a hospital-based retrospective study, which comprised patients aged 18 years and below who presented with injuries at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, between January 2012 and December 2016. Patients with burn injury were excluded from the study. This is because the authors did not manage burn cases. Patients with incomplete records were excluded from the study. Results: Four hundred and twenty-nine patients' case records were reviewed. These patients sustained 549 injuries. Twenty-eight patients had multiple injuries. Their ages ranged from 1 day to 18 years with a mean age of 8.01 ± 2.2 years. 46.9% of the patients were 4–12 years of age. More males were affected than females with a ratio of 1.4:1. 48.2% of the patients sustained their injuries along the roads. Road traffic accidents were the leading cause of injury (48.2%) followed by falls (21.7%), with birth trauma accounting for 9.1% of cases. Fracture was the most common injury sustained accounting for 321 cases (58.4%) with 28.2% being open/compound. The time of these injuries occurs more in the morning and afternoon of the day. Conclusion: The prevention of these childhood injuries would involve public health education on identification of child hazards and safety measures. There is a need for legislation to outlaw certain activities such as street trading and hawking of wares/goods by children which exposes them to injuries. There is also a need to improve road designs by including zebra crossing and speed breaks on roads to curtail the magnitude of these injuries. Enforcement of road safety measures is also important.

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