Reducing drowning deaths: The continued challenge of immersion fatalities in Australia

Franklin, Richard C., Scarr, Justin P. and Pearn, John H. (2010) Reducing drowning deaths: The continued challenge of immersion fatalities in Australia. Medical Journal of Australia, 192 3: 123-126.

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Author Franklin, Richard C.
Scarr, Justin P.
Pearn, John H.
Title Reducing drowning deaths: The continued challenge of immersion fatalities in Australia
Journal name Medical Journal of Australia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0025-729X
Publication date 2010-02-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 192
Issue 3
Start page 123
End page 126
Total pages 4
Place of publication Strawberry Hills, N.S.W., Australia
Publisher Australasian Medical Publishing Company
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: To explore 5 years of drowning deaths in Australia compared with a previous Australian study a decade earlier, and to assess the feasibility of achieving a 50% reduction in unintentional drowning deaths by 2020.
Design and setting: An audit of all unintentional drowning deaths in Australia using data from the National Coroners Information System for 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2007.
Main outcome measures: Number and rate of drowning deaths, by age, sex, location, activity, place of birth, visitor status, and involvement of alcohol or drugs.
Results: There were 1452 drowning deaths during the study period (76.4% male). The age-adjusted rate per 100 000 people ranged from 1.61 in 2002-03 to 1.23 in 2006-07. Children aged 0-4 years had the highest rate (2.63 per 100 000 people), and 29% of deaths were of people aged 55 years or older. Over half of all deaths occurred in rivers (20.3%), at beaches (18.3%), or in swimming pools (13.3%). Alcohol was involved in 21.6% of all drowning deaths, although this varied by age.
Conclusions: This audit suggests that a 50% reduction in drowning fatalities by 2020 may be achievable using current knowledge and preventive systems in certain types of immersions. However, further research and new initiatives will be required, particularly to prevent drowning deaths in rivers and of older people.
Keyword Drowning deaths
Preventive systems
Alcohol consumption
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 23 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 02 Mar 2011, 11:33:12 EST by Melanie Thomas on behalf of Paediatrics & Child Health - RBWH