Ethnic differences in the epidemiological characteristics of severe trauma due to falls from a heights among children in northern Israel

Naomi Bar-Joseph, Gad Rennert, Ada Tamir, Liora Ore, Gad Bar-Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: In the western world, trauma is the leading cause of disability and mortality in the 1-39 years age group. Road accidents constitute the most frequent cause of mortality among children older than 1 year and falls from heights are the most frequent cause of injuries requiring hospitalization. Objectives: To analyze the epidemiology and characteristics of severe pediatric trauma due to falls from a height in northern Israel. This analysis should aid in planning an effective intervention plan. Methods: This observational study included all patients aged 0-14 who died or were admitted to an intensive care unit in northern Israel following a fall from a height. Demographic and clinical data were collected retrospectively for 3 years and prospectively for 1 year. Results: A total of 188 children were severely injured or died following such a fall, with an annual rate of 11.4 per 100,000 children. Over 85% of severe injuries due to falls occurred among non-Jewish children, with an incidence rate 6.36 times higher than among Jewish children (20.17 and 3.17 per 100,000 children, respectively). In the non-Jewish sector 93.7% of the falls occurred at or around the child's home, mainly from staircases, balconies and roofs. Conclusions: A very high incidence of severe trauma due to domestic falls from a height was found among non-Jewish children in northern Israel. Domestic falls represent an important epidemiological problem in the non-Jewish pediatric sector, and an effective prevention plan should include measures to modify parents' attitudes towards safety issues and the creation of a safe domestic environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-606
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Volume9
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Accidental falls
  • Children
  • Falls from heights
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)

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