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Type: Journal article
Title: Fatal unintentional traumatic asphyxia in childhood
Author: Byard, R.
Hanson, K.
James, R.
Citation: Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 2003; 39(1):31-32
Publisher: Blackwell Science Asia
Issue Date: 2003
ISSN: 1034-4810
Statement of
RW Byard, KA Hanson and RA James
Abstract: Objective: The present study was undertaken to examine specific features of unintentional traumatic asphyxial deaths in childhood. Methods: Coronial files and records at the Forensic Science Centre in Adelaide, South Australia, were examined over a 35-year period from 1966 to 2000 for all cases of traumatic asphyxial death occurring in children under the age of 17 years. Results: Six cases of unintentional fatal traumatic asphyxia were identified. All of the victims were boys with an age range of 2−15 years (mean 6.8 years) and all were found dead at the scene. Fatal traumatic asphyxia resulted from entrapment beneath a chest of drawers, beneath a table tennis table, between a pile of wooden pallets and a metal fence, between a conveyor belt and its frame, and under a motor vehicle (in two cases). Conclusions: Fatal traumatic asphyxia in childhood is a rare event, with younger children commonly being trapped by furniture or by industrial equipment while playing, and older children being trapped under motor vehicles in similar circumstances to adult traumatic asphyxial deaths. Unsupervised play of young children around heavy and potentially unstable pieces of furniture may be dangerous, particularly if more than one child is present. Unsupervised play of young children in industrial yards should be avoided.
Keywords: traumatic asphyxia
Description: Article first published online: 31 JAN 2003
RMID: 0020031294
DOI: 10.1046/j.1440-1754.2003.00067.x
Appears in Collections:Pathology publications

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