Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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 Table of Contents    
LETTER TO EDITOR  
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 147-148
Injuries due to fall make summer time power outages a potential public health issue


1 Department of Surgery, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi - 74800, Pakistan
2 Department of Emergency Medicine, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi - 74800, Pakistan
3 Department of Emergency Medicine, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi - 74800; Department of Health, Government of Pakistan, Pakistan

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Date of Web Publication18-Feb-2011
 

How to cite this article:
Shamim MS, Khan UR, Razzak JA, Rasheed J. Injuries due to fall make summer time power outages a potential public health issue. J Emerg Trauma Shock 2011;4:147-8

How to cite this URL:
Shamim MS, Khan UR, Razzak JA, Rasheed J. Injuries due to fall make summer time power outages a potential public health issue. J Emerg Trauma Shock [serial online] 2011 [cited 2019 Dec 15];4:147-8. Available from: http://www.onlinejets.org/text.asp?2011/4/1/147/76817


Sir,

Falls are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality, especially in children and in under-developed countries. [1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7] Unexpected power outages in Karachi have become a frequent problem. This study was carried out at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi, to explore an association between increasing power outages and frequency of falls. Data for all injuries were collected prospectively, and the year 2006 was chosen for analysis at it had worst power outages. [8],[9] Injuries were classified as those occurring in summer (April to July) or winter (December to March) and were compared between the two seasons. Total injuries in study duration was 2599, mean age was 21 ± 18 years (male:female 3.2:1) and 43% of victims were children. Injuries in two seasons were comparable (summer 1266, winter 1333) but injuries due to fall were more in summer (574 versus 470, OR= 1.5; 95% CI = 1.3, 1.8), especially in children (P = 0.001). Frequency of falls were much more in 2006 as compared with either 2005 (OR = 1.59; 95% CI = 1.37, 1.83) or 2004 (OR = 1.22; 95% CI = 1.05, 1.42).

Karachi's hot and humid climate and frequent power outages encourages families to spend time on rooftops or balconies, or to leave the windows open. Understandably, we found a higher frequency of falls, especially of children in all summer months, observations shown by others as well. [3],[5],[6] However, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first study which points toward a possible association between increasing power outages and falls, especially involving children, implying power outages as a potential health hazard. On a similar note but in an area with cold climate, investigators have previously found an association between power outages and heater related injuries. [10] Larger, more in depth, prospective studies are recommended to validate our findings.


   Acknowledgment Top


The authors wish to acknowledge with deepest gratitude, the help and support of Mr. Muhammad Shamim during the collection of data.

 
   References Top

1.Hoque MF, Grangeon C, Reed K. Spinal cord lesions in Bangladesh: An epidemiological study 1994 - 1995. Spinal Cord 1999;37:858-61.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]    
2.Martins F, Freitas F, Martins L, Dartigues J, Barat M. Spinal cord injuries-epidemiology in Portugal's central region. Spinal Cord 1998;36:574-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Hall JR, Reyes HM, Horvat M, Meller JL, Stein R. The mortality of childhood falls. J Trauma 1989;29:1273-5.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]    
4.Istre G, Mc Coy M, Stowe M, Davies K, Zane D, Anderson R, et al. Childhood injuries due to fall from apartment balconies and windows Inj Prev 2003;9:349-52.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.Lallier M, Bouchard S, St-Vil D, Dupont J, Tucci M. Falls from heights among children: A retrospective review. J Pediatr Surg 1999;34:1060-3.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
6.Wang MY, Kim KA, Griffith PM, Summers S, McComb JG, Levy ML, et al. Injuries from falls in the pediatric population: An analysis of 729 cases. J Pediatr Surg 2001;36:1528-34.  Back to cited text no. 6
[PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
7.Faelker T, Pickett W, Brison RJ. Socioeconomic differences in childhood injury: A population based epidemiologic study in Ontario, Canada. Inj Prev 2000;6:203-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
[PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
8.Reporter S. Karachi: Major power breakdown in many areas. Pakistan: Dawn; 2006.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.Reporter S. Karachi: Crowds storm KESC offices to get power. Pakistan: Dawn; 2006.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.10.Palmieri TL, Greenhalgh DG. Increased incidence of heater-related burn injury during a power crisis. Arch Surg 2002;137:1106-8.  Back to cited text no. 10
    

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Correspondence Address:
Muhammad S Shamim
Department of Surgery, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi - 74800
Pakistan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-2700.76817

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