Article

Survey of domestic accidents in the elderly in the Province of Genoa (northern Italy).

Department of Health Science (DiSSal), University of Genoa, Italy.
Journal of preventive medicine and hygiene 03/2009; 50(1):53-7.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Accidents in the home are a major public health issue in most industrialised countries, as they are a frequent cause of injury and death. Moreover, since a considerable portion of such accidents involve elderly people, it is important to assess their social impact in this population. In Italy, the available data indicate that well over 3 million people per year suffer accidents in the home, and that this number is rising. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the number, characteristics and causes of domestic accidents among the elderly.
The study population was made up of subjects of both sexes aged between 65 and 92 years admitted to first aid units and emergency departments of hospitals in Genoa. The investigation was conducted by means of an ad hoc questionnaire designed to record the circumstances of the accident, the functional capacity of the subject involved, any risky behaviour enacted and the safety profile of the subject's home.
The study enrolled 111 voluntary participants: 62 women and 49 men. At the time of the accident, subjects were engaged in the following activities: housework (36.9%) "rest" (14.5%), ablutions (10%), gardening (9%), leisure activities (8.1%), eating and drinking (2.7%). The most common injuries were bruises (39.6%), followed by fractures (23.4%) and cuts (23.4%); the frequency of other, some time more severe injures (burns, poisoning, asphyxia, crush injuries, etc.) was,fortunately, very low. Anyway, taking into account their consequences, their surveillance and prevention is very important. Most subjects were deemed to be in good health and, in 76% of cases, the safety profile of their houses proved to be satisfactory.
The data collected during this survey are in line with those yielded by national and international studies. They show that the elderly are very vulnerable to domestic accidents and that, even in the event of only slight injury, the management of elderly victims requires a strong organisational commitment on the part of relatives and considerable financial resources for healthcare services. Falling proved to be the main cause of injury. Clearly, efforts to reduce the cost of accidents in the home should aim to implement preventive intervention among elderly people, since the elderly population is destined to grow as a result of increasing life expectancy. In particular, preventive action should focus on reducing the incidence of falls by eliminating risk-related structural features in domestic settings as far as possible and by raising public awareness of the problem through health education campaigns.

1 Bookmark
 · 
68 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Food asphyxiation is uncommon but unignorable cause of sudden death in the elderly. Several autopsy studies, which identified those at particular risk, have been conducted on the subject. Resuscitation profiles and outcomes of food asphyxiation victims presenting with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) to the emergency department, however, have rarely been reported. Data on adults (> or = 20 years) presenting with OHCA after witnessed food asphyxiation were retrieved from an institutional database. Clinical variables were evaluated to identify their demographic characteristics. Their outcomes, represented by return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and survival rate, were also investigated. Sixty-nine food asphyxiation victims presenting with OHCA were identified during the 4-year period. Food asphyxiation occurred most frequently in the age group of 71-80 years, followed by that of 81-90 years. The majority of victims had medical conditions that adversely affected mastication/swallowing, such as dementia. Bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was performed only in 26%, although bystanders often attempted to clear the airway without performing CPR. Despite the high ROSC rate of 78%, only 7% survived to discharge. Asphyxiation-ROSC interval might play a crucial role in determining the outcomes: the interval was < or = 10 min in all survivors, while it was longer than 10 min in all non-survivors. Because of their advanced age and debilitating general condition, it may be difficult to substantially improve the outcomes of food asphyxiation victims. Effort should be directed to prevent food asphyxiation, and public education to perform standard CPR for food asphyxiation victims including the Heimlich manoeuvre is warranted.
    Resuscitation 09/2010; 81(9):1082-6. · 4.10 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Spring cleaning is a popular tradition in Iran as well as in many other countries. The purpose of our study was to determine the pattern and compare the incidence of spring cleaning related injuries in Tehran, in the years 2007 and 2008. In the year 2007, a household survey was performed in Tehran by random cluster sampling. The survey was repeated in May 2008 with the same clusters and starting points, but different households. The incidence of spring cleaning related injuries, the age and sex of injured person(s), the mechanism, type and cost of injuries were recorded through semi-structured interviews. The incidence rates of injuries and injuries leading to health visits (severe) according to sex and age groups were calculated. Data were analyzed using SPSS and STATA statistical softwares. The incidence of all and severe spring cleaning related injuries were 3.8 (3.0 - 4.8) and 1.6 (1.1-2.3) per 1000, respectively. The most common mechanisms of injuries were falls, followed by cutting and lifting heavy objects or overexertion. Falls were also the main mechanism of severe injuries. The most common injuries were open wounds, followed by superficial injuries (including contusions) and sprain and strain. Among severe injuries, the most frequent injuries were open wounds and contusions, followed by dislocations. The injuries were most common among women with an incidence of about 8.4 per 1000 in women older than 18 years of age (severe injuries: 3.4 per 1000 (2.2-5.1)). The incidence of spring cleaning related injuries is high enough to raise concern in health system authorities. It could be estimated that about 23,927 to 38,283 persons get injured during the spring cleaning in Tehran at the beginning of every Persian new year. In addition, about 8,773-18,344 of these cases are expected to be severe enough to lead to medical attention (considering 7,975,679 as the population of Tehran at the time of study). Improving awareness of families, especially young women, regarding the scope and importance of spring cleaning safety can be suggested as the first population-based strategy to decrease the incidence of these injuries.
    BMC Public Health 08/2011; 11:631. · 2.08 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Home injuries are an important public health issue in both developed and developing countries. This study focused on the Italian epidemiological framework between 1999 and 2006, using a nation-representative sample provided by the National Institute of Statistics. Every year, about 3,000,000 Italian residents reported at least one home injury, with an overall annual rate of 5.2/100 (95% CI 5.1-5.4); 3.2/100 (3.0-3.4) for males and 7.2/100 (6.9-7.4) for females. Poisson regression models were used for different age-specific populations (children, young/adults and older people), to evaluate the effects of socio-demographic, health/income satisfaction and housing variables. For children, non-applicable variables (including smoking and health satisfaction) were taken as those of the head of family, while housework time was taken the family mean time. Evidence of decreasing time trend in risk of home injury was found only among young/adults (p < 0.01). The following were risk factors: female gender (adjusted relative risk-RR 2.0 for older people and RR 1.9 for young/adults, p < 0.01); one additional hour of work at home (RR 1.009, p < 0.01 for young/adults and RR 1.016, p = 0.01 for children); smoking (RR 1.3, p < 0.01 for young/adults and p = 0.02 for children); health dissatisfaction (RR 1.3, p = 0.05 for children, RR 1.6 for young/adults and RR 1.7 for older people, p < 0.01); income dissatisfaction (RR 1.2, p < 0.01 for young/adults ); living alone (RR 1.5, p < 0.01 for young/adults and RR 1.2, p < 0.02 for the older people); having a garden (RR 1.1, p < 0.01 for young/adults ). Awareness of the need for safety at home could be boosted by information campaigns on the risk, and its social cost could be reduced by specific prevention schemes. Developing tools for assessing the risk at home and for removing the main hazards would be useful for both informative and prevention interventions.
    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 01/2014; 11(4):4402-16. · 2.00 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

View
70 Downloads
Available from
Jun 6, 2014