Epidemiology of drowning incidents among children at Sultan Qaboos university hospital Oman

Niranjan Lal Jeswani*, Muhammad Faisal Khilji, Syed Rizvi, Abdullah Al Reesi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives: We sought to study the epidemiology of drowning among children reported at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital in Oman. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of the patients who presented to the emergency department with a history of drowning over 10 years from January 2008 to December 2017. Patients with children aged one to 18 years old were included in the study. The data including demographics, timing and location of drowning, season, adult supervision, swimming ability, medical risk factors, duration of submersion, on spot resuscitation, emergency medicine department assessment, and hospital management and outcome were collected from electronic hospital information system using a preformed proforma. The outcome was categorized into either full recovery, severe neurological injury, or brain death based on the pediatric cerebral performance category (PCPC). A good outcome represents a score of 1–3 points, and a PCPC of 4–6 points corresponds to a poor outcome. We calculated correlation for all variables with the outcome by using chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests. A p-value of < 0.050 is taken as significant value. Results: A total of 74 patients were included in the study; 54 (73.0%) were male, and 47 (63.5%) were aged < 6 years old. More than half (59.4%) of drownings happened in swimming pool, 21 (28.4%) children were unsupervised during the incident, and 39 (52.7%) required cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Out of all studied subjects, three (4.1%) were brain dead, and two (2.7%) developed severe neurological injury. On univariate analysis, the following variables were statistically significant (p < 0.050), predicting the poor outcome like lack of adult supervision, duration of submersion >10 minutes, asystole, Glasgow Coma Scale < 8, temperature < 35oC, pH < 7, anion gap > 20, blood glucose > 10 mmol/L, abnormal chest X-ray findings, rewarming, CPR, intubation, inotropic support, and pediatric intensive care unit admission. Conclusions: Our study suggests that children, especially males under the age of six with no swimming ability, need strict supervision next to bodies of water. Furthermore, preventive measures might include raising community awareness about the risk factors of drowning, commencing public CPR lessons, and strict pool safety regulation by related authorities.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere320
JournalOman Medical Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Drowning
  • Emergency medicine
  • Intensive care units
  • Oman
  • Pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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