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Nonfatal drowning in children and young people in Queensland (Australia) 2002–2008
  1. B Wallis*,
  2. K Watt,
  3. R Franklin,
  4. J A Nixon,
  5. R Kimble
  1. Correspondence University of Queensland and Royal Children's Hospital, L/3 RCH Foundation Building Royal Children's Hospital Brisbane Old 4029, Australia


Literature exists on fatal drowning events, however, the incidence, mechanisms and consequences of nonfatal drowning episodes remain largely unexplored. Additionally, drowning episodes among adolescents have not been previously studied in detail in Queensland. The overall aims of this study are to: (1) determine morbidity of drowning in young people (0–19 years) in Queensland, Australia, from 2002 to 2008; (2) describe injuries and outcomes associated with drowning incidents; and (3) examine risk and preventable factors of drowning. Retrospective data on approximately 800 nonfatal drowning events among children 0–19 years were collated from multiple sources (prehospital; emergency department; admitted patients). These data were supplemented by injury surveillance data and detailed trauma data where possible. Preliminary analyses indicate that nonfatal drowning episodes occur in pools and spas in more than half (58%) of hospital admissions, followed by natural water bodies (12%) and bathtubs (10%). Additional preliminary analyses of non fatal incidents will be discussed. This project will provide the most accurate estimate possible of the incidence of nonfatal drowning episodes among 0–19 year olds in Queensland during 2002–2008, as well as information about risk factors for these events. Robust and comprehensive data are crucial to effectively inform injury prevention, in order to set priorities and identify points at which interventions will be most effective. This project has ethics approval and is funded by the Queensland Injury Prevention Council. Data were obtained from Royal Life Saving Society of Australia, Queensland Ambulance Service, Queensland Health and Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit.

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