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Doors cause most childhood amputations

Hands caught in doors cause most childhood amputations in the United States, a study said Monday, but they most often involve only partial loss of a finger and no hospital stay.
/ Source: Reuters

Hands caught in doors cause most of the childhood amputations in the United States, a study said 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 Pediatrics.

"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 amputations.

"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.