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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 19(5); 2008 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2008;19(5): 527-534.
The Epidemiologic Characteristics of Drowning in Korea
Kwon Kim, Jai Yong Kim, Sang Do Shin, Sang Baek Koh, Kug Jong Lee, Jeong Soo Im, Hyoung June Im, Hyuk Joong Choi, Tai Ho Im
1Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Korea. erthim@hanyang.ac.kr
2Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Hallym University College of Medicine, Korea.
3Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Korea.
4Department of Preventive Medicine, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Korea.
5Department of Emergency Medicine, Ajou University College of Medicine, Korea.
6Department of Preventive Medicine, Gachon University of Medicine and Science, Korea.
7Department of Industrial Medicine, College of Medicine, Hallym University, Korea.
In spite of preventive measures and excellent prognosis with immediate treatments, drowning and drowning- related injuries remain as one of the leading causes of accidental death in Korea. However, abundant statistical data for drowning has yet to be collected. Thus, this study aimed to describe the epidemiologic characteristics of drowning in terms of demographic characteristics, geopolitical factors and socio-economic status.
This study was conducted with drowning patients who either visited hospitals or died between January 2001 and December 2003. Of these patients, we enrolled individuals registered for such coverages as automobile insurance, national health service and work injury insurance and we reviewed death records reported to the Korea National Statistical office. NISS (New Injury Severity Scale) and EMR-ISS (the Excessive Mortality Ratio -adjusted Injury Severity Score) values were calculated for each patients and the results were classified 4-into four different severity groups. After analysis, we drew conclusions in terms of year, gender, age, region, insurance type, daily rate of incidences and severity.
The incidences of drowning-related injury were 2,486 in 2001, 2,364 in 2002, and 2,595 in 2003 (average of 2,482). The average annual death were 1,954. Victims were more likely to be male and especially high incidence rates were found for two groups: (1) Children aged 5-9 years, (2) Adults aged 40 and older. Seoul and Gyeonggi had the largest total numbers of injury cases, while JeJu had the highest per capita incidence rate (106 per 1,000,000 population). The seasonal distribution of incidence rates showed that predictably, incidents were most frequent between the beginning of July and September.
The average number of incidents was 55.73 per 1,000,000 population, which constitutes approximately 0.02% of all injuries. Based on this data, we recommand continuing studies and further evaluations in order to develop specific measures to combat drowning.
Key words: Drowning, Epidemiology, Injuries
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