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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 13-16

Drowning in children: Aseer Central Hospital experience, Southwestern Saudi Arabia

1 Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Pediatrics, Military Hospital, Abha, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Suliman H Al-Fifi
Department of Pediatric, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, 61421 Abha, P.O Box 641
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-1683.78632

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Aim: To study the reasons, magnitude and outcome of drowning following submersion in water of children admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in Aseer Province, Saudi Arabia. Materials and Methods: A retrospective cohort study of all pediatric patients (0-13) years old who drowned and were admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Aseer Central Hospital, Southwestern Saudi Arabia, between January 1st 1999 and December 31st 2009. Results: A total of 19 cases were admitted following submersion in water. The mean age was 5.2 years ±3.8. Majority of victims (94.1%) were from the highland areas. Events most frequently occurred in the summer (46.7%), followed by spring and winter, 33.3% and 20%, respectively. Home events constituted 44.4% of submersion cases. Of these, 55.6% drowned in a washing container, While 53.4% submersed in swimming pools. Twenty-two percent of these accidents occurred in the sea and in wells while 11.1% occurred in a lake. The mean duration of submersion was 4.04 minutes ± 5.35. Cardiac arrest was reported upon arrival at hospital in 42.1% of the victims. There were seven deaths (36.8 %) and in one patient (5.2 %) there was severe brain injury. In all deceased cases, no adults were watching the children when the accidents occurred. Conclusion: Drowning is a significant risk factor facing our children and can claim lives. The media as well as the authority should play a major role in increasing the public awareness to minimize or prevent such a problem.

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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
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