November 7, 2005

Doors cause most childhood amputations: study

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Hands caught in doors cause most of the
childhood amputations in the United States, a study said on
Monday, though they most often involve only partial loss of a
finger and no hospital stay.

The most serious amputation injuries occur among
adolescents and often involve lawn mowers and tools, according
to a review of hospital records from 1990 to 2002 done at Ohio
State University.

Over that period, 111,600 children suffered amputation
injuries, said the report published in the November issue of
"Pediatrics," the journal of the American Academy of

"The majority of traumatic amputation injuries occur to
young children, to males and to fingers, and the majority
involve doors," the study said. Once children reach school age,
it added, there is also a high risk of bicycle-related

"Adolescents experience a higher proportion of more serious
amputation injuries," it added.

The study recommended wider use of such safeguards as door
stops, controls to keep ride-on lawn mowers from accidentally
going into reverse, bicycle spoke and chain guards, not wearing
open-toe footwear on bikes and an automatic stop mechanism for
power saws.