Background Severity of injury, as a measure of hazardous product consequences, is an essential aspect in the product safety risk assessment process. Moreover, the extent of product involvement in an injury event is also fundamental in order to determine the causality and preventability of the injury. While injury severity can be examined using coded injury data, product involvement is often omitted as coded data are limited to inform the level of product involvement in an injury event. However, text narratives data collected in emergency departments can potentially provide relevant product information. The study aimed to examine the severity of injuries and extent of product involvement in paediatric injuries in emergency department (ED) based injury surveillance data.
Methods A total of 7,743 paediatric injury cases were randomly selected from the Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit database and were manually reviewed and categorised according to the level of product involvement using the Product Involvement Factor classification system. Injury severity in these categories was then examined based on triage category and admission rate.
Results Overall, 44% of all reviewed cases were associated with at least one type of consumer product. Based on the triage scoring, product-related injuries had a lower proportion of high severity injuries compared to non-product injuries. Within the product-related groups, injuries associated with high intrinsic risk products had the highest proportion of high severity injuries based on triage scoring (8%) and injuries associated with maladapted or misused products had the highest admission rate after the emergency treatment (20%).
Conclusions The urgency of injuries and the need for further treatment as severity measures vary depending on the level of product involvement. This highlights the need to account for product involvement and injury severity in order to inform a better understanding of product-related injuries in product safety prioritizations. Hence, emergency department data should be utilised to support product safety initiatives.
- Product Safety
- Injury severity
- Injury surveillance
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