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The Injury Experience Observed in Two Emergency Departments in Kingston, Ontario During 'Ice Storm 98'

Lisa Hartling, William Pickett and Robert J. Brison
Canadian Journal of Public Health / Revue Canadienne de Santé Publique
Vol. 90, No. 2 (MARCH / APRIL 1999), pp. 95-98
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41992982
Page Count: 4
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Abstract

Objectives: 1) To describe patterns of unintentional injury presenting for emergency medical care in Kingston, Ontario following the ice storm in January 1998; and 2) to provide recommendations for prevention during such situations. Methods: Unintentional injuries related to the ice storm that presented at the two emergency departments in Kingston, Ontario were identified and described. Results: A total of 254 injuries were identified. Injuries peaked the day following the onset of the ice storm and again 4-6 days following the storm. Common sources of injury included slips and falls on the ice (56%), activities related to clearing brush or trees (15%), and unintentional carbon monoxide poisonings (9%). Conclusions: While the number of injuries that presented during the storm and its aftermath was not unusual, the distribution of injuries by type did reflect the irregular nature of environmental conditions. This analysis provides useful information for public officials to use reviewing disaster plans and to generate recommendations for managing future occurrences. Objectifs : 1) Décrire les types de blessures accidentelles que le service d'urgence de Kingston, en Ontario, a dû soigner à la suite de la tempête de verglas de janvier 1998; et 2) faire des recommandations pour prévenir ces différents types de blessures. Méthodes : Identification et description des types de blessures accidentelles soignés dans les deux services d'urgence de Kingston, en Ontario. Résultats : On a identifié un total de 254 blessures. On a constaté le plus grand nombre de blessures le lendemain suivant le début de la tempête et de nouveau 4 h. 6 jours après la fin de la tempête. Les causes les plus communes des blessures étaient des glissades et des chutes sur la glace (56 %), des activités en rapport avec le dégagement des branches ou des arbres (15 %) et des empoisonnements accidentels au monoxide de carbone (9%). Conclusion : Si le nombre de blessures survenues pendant la tempête et après n'était pas inhabituel, la ventilation de ces blessures en fonction de leur type traduisait la nature inhabituelle des conditions de l'envirOnnement. Cette analyse apporte des données utiles aux responsables de la santé publique qui pourront les utiliser lors de leurs examens des plans prévus en cas de catastrophe et en tirer des recommandations pour gérer de futures situations semblables.

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