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GBD2005: estimating mortality and morbidity associated with fatal and nonfatal unintentional drowning episodes
  1. K Watt*,
  2. R C Franklin,
  3. B Wallis
  1. Correspondence School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Public Health Building, Herston Rd, Herston Qld 4006, Australia


Background Worldwide, there are over 400 000 deaths per annum from unintentional drowning it is recognised as the 2nd leading cause of global unintentional fatalities. This systematic literature review is being completed for the GBD2005 Injury Expert Group. The purpose of the review is to estimate the global incidence rates for fatal and nonfatal unintentional drowning episodes, and to describe the duration of drowning consequences among those who survive.

Methods Studies published in any language cited in MEDLINE; EMBASE; PsychINFO or SPORTSDISCUSS between January 1980 and December 2007 were obtained for review. Population-level studies that describe incidence or prevalence of fatal (death occurring within 24 h of a submersion incident) or nonfatal (submersion incident involves cardiac arrest and asphyxia for which resuscitation occurs, resulting in survival beyond 24 h) drowning episodes in predetermined GBD regions or counties within a region, as well as studies that describe the progression of drowning consequences among survivors, were retained for analyses. This includes studies on drowning related to natural disasters (eg, floods, cyclones, tsunamis), water and other transport incidents. Data were extracted using a standardised abstraction procedure.

Results and Discussion At the time of abstract submission, this systematic review is well underway. The initial search strategy yielded 14 926 papers. After reading the title and/or abstract, 13 697 were discarded, leaving 1229 papers for checking against the review criteria. Data on the incidence of unintentional fatal and nonfatal drowning episodes in each of the GBD regions will be presented and compared at the conference. Results will be discussed in the context of the strengths and limitations of this approach.

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