Background Injury is a leading cause of death among children and adolescents and around 16% of the world’s burden of disease can be attributed to injury, reflecting the disproportionate burden of injuries among young people and added years of life lived with disability. The majority of injuries can be prevented or at least controlled and the costs of prevention are much lower than the costs of the consequences of injuries.
There is a crucial lack of data and injury surveillance systems to inform prevention. In high income countries it has been shown that many child and adolescent injuries can be prevented through careful analysis and appropriate action. In January 2012 The Department of Health published ‘A public health outcomes framework for England, 2013–2016’, which includes ‘Hospital admissions caused by unintentional and deliberate injuries in under 18s’ as an indicator of population health.
Research has shown that a relationship exists between increasing numbers of children presenting to Accident and Emergency with injuries and higher levels of area level socioeconomic deprivation. The Indices of Deprivation 2010 show that the London Borough of Tower Hamlets (LBTH) remains one of the most deprived areas in the country.
Methods A prospective audit has been designed for use in The Paediatric Emergency Department at The Royal London Hospital in the LBTH. The audit tool will include the WHO core minimum dataset for injury surveillance and ICD-10 for injuries, as part of an enhanced injury dataset that has been incorporated in the College of Emergency Medicine’s proposed ‘emergency medicine minimum dataset’. Subsequent mapping of injuries to LBTH postcodes will allow identification of injury ‘hot spots’ requiring further investigation and targeted interventions.
Results A preliminary retrospective audit of paediatric unintentional injury using data collected from computerised Accident and Emergency records for children aged 0 to <18 years who attended Royal London Hospital between July to September 2011 showed that unintentional injury results in high rates of attendance, with 40% of children attending as consequence of unintentional injury (n=3,013 attendances). The main reasons for attendance were for fractures, joint and head injuries and soft tissue inflammation. However, details of where injuries occurred, mechanisms and severity were lacking; prompting a prospective audit.
Conclusion Knowledge of the epidemiology of paediatric injury is lacking. It is imperative that routine monitoring and surveillance of paediatric injuries occurs nationally in order to inform effective injury prevention strategies.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.