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Escalator-related injuries in children

Platt SL; Fine JS; Foltin GL
OBJECTIVE: Escalator-related trauma is uncommon but can cause significant injury. This study reviewed escalator-related injuries in children to determine risk factors, types of injuries, medical interventions, and long-term outcomes. DESIGN AND SETTING: Retrospective clinical patient series, Municipal Hospital Pediatric Emergency Service. Participants. All children less than 18 years of age who presented to the Pediatric Emergency Service with an escalator-related injury from August 1990 through February 1995. METHODS: We reviewed the chart and interviewed the parent of each child by telephone. We collected the following information: age, gender, child's supervision and activity while on the escalator, escalator location, direction of motion, presence of escalator defects, nature and extent of injury, medical interventions, and outcome. RESULTS: Twenty-six children had escalator-related injuries. The average age was 6 years (range, 2-16). Thirteen children (50%) were 2 to 4 years old. There were 15 (57%) boys. Eighteen children (69%) were accompanied by an adult. All children 7 years and younger were accompanied by an adult; however, 50% were not holding the hand of their guardian. Eight children (31%) were injured while riding improperly, ie, walking, running, playing, or sitting on the escalator, and among these, all who were standing fell down before the injury. Six (23%) children were injured while stepping off the escalator. Of 9 children less than 4 years old, 7 (78%) were riding the escalator properly. Of 9 children 4 years or older, only 3 (33%) were riding properly. Circumstances of injury included falling down with subsequent blunt trauma, falling down with subsequent entrapment of an extremity, and entrapment of an extremity not related to falling down. Locations of entrapment were between two steps, between a step and the side-rail, and between the last step and the comb plate. Twenty-one (81%) injuries occurred in rail or subway stations. Eight escalators were reported to have functional or structural problems. Seventeen (65%) children sustained lower extremity injuries and 8 (31%) sustained upper extremity injuries. Injuries included lacerations, avulsions and degloving injuries of the extremities, tendon and nerve lacerations, and digit fractures and amputations. Thirteen (50%) children were admitted to the hospital for operative management; the average length of hospitalization was 13 days (range 1-29). Four children (15%) suffered significant functional loss, and 12 (46%) sustained permanent cosmetic deformities. CONCLUSION: Children are at risk for sustaining severe injuries on escalators. Young age, inadequate adult supervision, improper activity while riding on the escalator, and escalator-related mechanical problems all increase the risk of injury. Public and parent education directed toward escalator safety issues may help to reduce escalator-related injuries in children
PMID: 9233973
ISSN: 0031-4005
CID: 12148

The Avianca plane crash: an emergency medical system's response to pediatric survivors of the disaster

van Amerongen RH; Fine JS; Tunik MG; Young GM; Foltin GL
OBJECTIVE. On January 25, 1990, a jetliner crashed on Long Island, New York. Twenty-two children survived the crash. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the emergency medical system's response to these pediatric survivors. METHODS. A questionnaire was sent to all local, acute care hospitals to determine their specific pediatric capabilities and to rank them as level I, II, or III pediatric centers; level I centers are tertiary care facilities. A second questionnaire was sent to all hospitals that received pediatric survivors to collect specific clinical information for each patient. Based on this clinical information a Pediatric Trauma Score (PTS) was assigned to each patient. Children with a PTS < or = 8 are considered to be at increased risk of trauma-related mortality. The assigned PTS was compared to the level of the pediatric center to which each patient was transported. RESULTS. Of 25 children on board the plane, 22 (88%) survived the crash; of 135 adults on board, 70 (52%) survived (chi 2 = 9.9, P = .002). Seven children had a PTs < or = 8; only 1 of these high-risk patients was transported directly to a level I pediatric center, and only 2 of the 5 high-risk children initially transported to level III facilities were transferred to higher level pediatric centers. CONCLUSIONS. Pediatric survivors were neither adequately triaged nor transported to appropriate facilities which could optimize their care. Possible explanations for this include: (1) unique features of the rescue operation, (2) limited pediatric training of prehospital personnel, and (3) deficiencies of the regional disaster plan. Emergency medical services systems and disaster plans can be made more responsive to children's needs by: (1) acknowledging that children have special needs requiring referral, (2) improving the training of prehospital personnel in pediatric emergency care, (3) classifying ill and injured children according to appropriate triage criteria, (4) recognizing existing tertiary care pediatric centers as the optimal location for the treatment of critically ill and injured children, and (5) designating these centers as the appropriate transport destination for critically ill and injured children
PMID: 8516053
ISSN: 0031-4005
CID: 13109

Update in medical toxicology

Fine JS; Goldfrank LR
This article examines some current issues in toxicologic care. First there is a review of the scope of pediatric poisonings and some aspects of initial management. Then there is a discussion of the decision-making process required to properly use gastric decontamination in the management of poisonings. Each of the common methods available--emesis, gastric lavage, activated charcoal, catharsis, and whole bowel irrigation--is discussed. Finally, several new and old antidotes are reviewed, namely naloxone, glucagon, bicarbonate, dimercaptosuccinic acid, digoxin-specific fab fragments, and flumazenil
PMID: 1523016
ISSN: 0031-3955
CID: 44389


ISSN: 0002-922x
CID: 51496