Conflict of interest: None declared.
Ceiling fan head injury to children in an Australian tropical location
Article first published online: 25 APR 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2013 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians)
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Volume 49, Issue 6, pages 480–485, June 2013
How to Cite
Furyk, J., Franklin, R. C. and Costello, D. (2013), Ceiling fan head injury to children in an Australian tropical location. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 49: 480–485. doi: 10.1111/jpc.12213
- Issue published online: 3 JUN 2013
- Article first published online: 25 APR 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 30 NOV 2012
- Queensland Injury Prevention Council
- ceiling fan;
- emergency medicine;
- head injuries;
- injuries and wounds;
To explore clinical aspects of head injuries caused by ceiling fans in children.
Cases were identified using a sensitive search strategy of the Townsville Emergency Department information system from 1 December 2005 to 30 April 2010, and a retrospective structured medical record review was undertaken.
During the study period there were 136 presentations with relevant injuries, with a higher incidence in the warmer months. There were three common mechanisms; those related to ingress and egress from bunk beds, children lifted by an adult, and children jumping from a piece of furniture. Aside from lacerations, the majority of children had unremarkable history and examination findings. There were 29 Computed Tomography (CT) scans of the head performed, four skull X-rays and no c-spine imaging. Forty-six children received sedation or anaesthesia as part of their management, 38 in the Emergency Department and eight in the operating theatre. Seven children sustained skull fractures and a total of 13 children were admitted to hospital for an average length of stay of 2.3 days.
Ceiling fans are a small but important source of paediatric head injury in tropical Australia. Significant injuries are possible with 5% of patients having a positive finding on CT scan. Most fractures are palpable, CT is recommended if fracture cannot be confidently excluded clinically.