Pool chemical injuries led to an estimate 13,508 U.S. emergency department visits during 2015 to 2017, and about one-third of these injuries occurred in children, according to research publish in the May 17 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Seriously injured body

NEISS captures data on ED visits for injuries, including those associate with consumer products. NEISS records include data on consumer product; patient age, sex, and race/ethnicity; the most severe diagnosis; the most seriously injure body part; patient disposition; incident location; and two 71-character narrative fields to describe the incident leading to injury.

These data are collect from a nationally representative probability sample of approximately 100 hospitals across the United States, and thus, can use to calculate national estimates. Each case was weight base on the inverse probability of hospital selection, and the weights were summed to produce national estimates; 95% CIs were calculate according to CPSC’s direct variance method, accounting for the complex sampling design.

Rates per 100,000 population were calculate using weight NEISS point estimates and U.S. Census Bureau population estimates.  Hence descriptive analyses of 2015–2017 data were conduct to characterize the most recent pool chemical injuries and increase national estimate stability. Data analyses were conduct using SAS (version 9.4; SAS Institute).

The emergency department

The researchers note that pool chemical injuries led to an estimate 13,508 U.S. emergency department visits in 2015 to 2017; 36.45% occurred among patients aged <18 years. An estimated 5,245 patients had their injury diagnose as poisoning. Of the injuries, at least 56.3% occurr at a residence. Hence about two thirds of the injuries (64.5%) occurr from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

Patients were most often injured when inhaling chemical fumes or dust, when pool chemicals were not secured away from children, or when pool chemicals were added to the water just before patients enter.The findings in this report are subject to at least five limitations. First, although NEISS data provide a snapshot of pool chemical injuries leading to ED visits, they do not characterize the epidemiology of pool chemical injuries that do not result in an ED visit.

Second, understanding of pool chemical injuries; so is limited by minimal data and missing data. Third, because NEISS collects data on only the most severe diagnosis, some pool chemical injuries might have miss. Fourth, in some injury reports, the injury causing chemical could have incorrectly identified.

So the magnitude of U.S. emergency department visits for pool chemical injuries, the disproportionate impact on children, and the incidence of these injuries at residences all call for increased awareness about pool chemical safety among operators of public venues and owners of residential venues,” the authors write.