Childhood farm injury: the role of the physician in prevention

Am Surg. 1988 Apr;54(4):192-4.


Farm-related trauma occurs in more than 25,000 children per year with almost 300 patients dying from these preventable injuries. The incidence of associated farm-machinery injuries and fatalities is increasing at an alarming rate with the majority occurring in young boys during the summer months. Between 1979-1985, 234 patients with traumatic injuries were admitted to our Pediatric Surgery Service. Seven of these, six boys and one girl, age ranges from 2-15 years were treated for severe farm-related injuries. Modified injury severity score was calculated with an average score of 31.5 (range 9-66). Four patients sustained or required amputation of a major extremity(ies) as a result of the injury. Two patients had multiple long bone fractures with associated neurologic or abdominal injury. One patient exsanguinated from massive liver lacerations. Five of the six surviving patients are disabled to varying degrees because of their injuries. This report provides support for the establishment of federal safety standards for farm-related equipment. Guidelines for prevention are outlined. We believe that the child physician is obliged to encourage education programs in farming communities on safety measures and further should endorse the application for farms.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Home / prevention & control*
  • Agriculture*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Physician's Role*
  • Role*
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*