Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Many children affected by posttraumatic stress disorder after traffic accidents

27.05.2014

Nearly every third child in Sweden who is injured in traffic is subsequently affected by posttraumatic stress disorder. Every fifth child is still suffering from mental and psychosocial problems one year after the accident. These are the conclusions of a thesis submitted at the Sahlgrenska Academy, which shows also that only 6 out of 10 Swedish children and adolescents who are involved in a traffic accidents wear a helmet when cycling.

Research student Eva Olofsson has examined the consequences of road traffic injuries in children. One of her studies shows that approximately 30% of children who are injured in traffic suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder one month after the accident.


Many children affected by posttraumatic stress disorder after traffic accidents

Life in danger

The stress disorder lasts from three to six months in one sixth of the children.

"The children often experience much stress and fear in association with the accident, and may feel that their life is in danger. This can cause posttraumatic stress disorder (anxiety disorder) in the long term, and this may constitute a major obstacle in their everyday lives," says Eva Olofsson.

Psychosocial problems

Another study asked 292 children who had been injured in traffic in the Gothenburg region about residual consequences of the accident. The children completed a questionnaire, which showed that one year after the accident 22% of the children were still suffering from mental and psychosocial problems connected with it.

This means that residual mental problems are more common among children who have been in an accident than physical problems (which affected 16% of children injured in traffic in the Gothenburg region).

The residual mental problems were, however, not related to the severity of the physical injuries.

"My results suggest that the experience of having an accident has a greater effect that the actual physical injuries. To be injured as an unprotected pedestrian in an accident with a vehicle can be experienced are more stressful, more frightening and more threatening than, for example, a cycling accident with no-one else involved. We saw also that receiving care as an inpatient, with procedures that may be experienced as frightening in an unfamiliar environment, may produce more stress than receiving care at a clinic and being allowed home the same day."

Cycle accidents most common

Cycling accidents are the most common cause of traffic injuries in children. Eva Olofsson's results show that it has become significantly more common that children who are injured in traffic are wearing a cycle helmet: In 1993 approximately 40% of children who were injured were wearing a helmet, while the figure in 2006 was 80%.

The fraction of children with skull or brain injuries after a cycling accident who received care at Drottning Silvia's Children's Hospital in Gothenburg fell during the period 1993-2006, but the fall was not statistically significant.

The incidence of facial injuries also fell, while the fraction with injuries to the arms, in contrast, increased.

"We can see that a cycle helmet provides good protection against severe and life-threatening skull and brain injuries, in all types of cycling accident. Further, a helmet protects against facial injuries," says Eva Olofsson.

Teenagers dumps the helmet

However, teenagers, particularly girls, are significantly less likely to wear a helmet. Despite new legislation in 2005 that stipulates that everyone under the age of 16 years must wear a helmet, less than 60% of children wore a helmet when cycling to and from school in 2012. Only 32% of cyclists in Sweden, adults and children, wore a helmet when cycling.

Eva Olofsson has worked as a nurse for more than 20 years, and has long experience of working with children injured in traffic accidents.

"Children are very vulnerable in traffic. It's important to determine what consequences a traffic injury may have for them, such that they can receive optimal care," says Eva.

Her conclusion is that the Accident & Emergency healthcare service should develop procedures to identify and follow up children injured in traffic who risk long-term mental, psychosocial and physical problems.

FACTS ON TRAFFIC INJURIES

WHO has determined that traffic injuries are the leading cause of death in children 15-17 years old, and the second-most frequent cause, after lung infections, in children aged 5-14 years. The average number of traffic-related deaths among children (0-17 years) in the world has been estimated to be 10 per 100,000 children (in 2004, WHO), with the highest incidences in Africa and the eastern Mediterranean area. The number of child traffic deaths in Sweden is one of the lowest in the world, and has fallen from 43 children per year in the period 1999-2003 to 20 children per year in 2011. An average of 3,578 children per year required inpatient hospital care for traffic injuries during the period 2005-2009, corresponding to 185/100,000. An average of 25,300 children per year required care at an A&E Department during the period 2007-2009, corresponding to 1,314/100,000.

Source: the National Board of Health and Welfare.

The thesis Children injured in traffic from a medical and psychosocial perspective – causes and consequences was successfully defended at a disputation held on May 9.

Link to the thesis: https://gupea.ub.gu.se/handle/2077/34397

Contact:

Eva Olofsson
research student at the Sahlgrenska Academy
University of Gothenburg
and registered nurse in pediatrics
Skaraborg Hospital in Skövde, Sweden
eva.m.olofsson@vgregion.se
Cell: +46 73 913 1677

Principal supervisor has been Anna-Lena Andersson, Sahlgrenska Academy, anna-lena.andersson@vgregion.se, Cell: +46 70 560 9322.

Weitere Informationen:

http://sahlgrenska.gu.se/english/news_and_events/news/News_Detail/many-children-...

Henrik Axlid | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: Academy Sahlgrenska accidents disorder injuries significantly

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University

nachricht Direct conversion of non-neuronal cells into nerve cells
03.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microscopic trampoline may help create networks of quantum computers

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier

17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>