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OBJECTIVES: The incidence of injuries caused by air turbulences on commercial aviation in Thailand does not happen very often, therefore studies on the matter are quite rare. This research study aimed to investigate the types of organ injuries sustained in passengers, caused by air turbulence injuries, with a view to recommending appropriate preventive measures.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study is a descriptive retrospective study of demographic data from injured passengers at Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital. Data collection began from August 1st, 2018 and collected data dated from August 2015 to January 2020. A general analysis was made on the injury, treatment and patient length of stay, and subsequently reported in percentage format. Further analysis was performed for special injury cases.
RESULT: A total of 43 patients from 8 flights was included in the study. There were 45 episodes of injuries at Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital, with 78% of these being passengers, and 76% of the patients were international passengers. 64% of patients had multiple injuries in all of the episodes. Most injuries were located on the extremities (77%), with 60% of them located on the upper extremities. The second most frequent injury was head injury (47%) and most of the head injury patients were given conservative treatment by neurological sign observation in the hospital or at home. There was no complaint of abdominal injury. From 43 patients, 68% received conservative treatments, 24% underwent operations and 8% underwent general procedures. Total admission was 53% with an average length of stay (LOS) of 7.63 days.
CONCLUSION: Airplane injury cases can suffer from many types of organ injury or multiple organ injuries depending upon their activities during the time the air turbulence incurred. Cabin crew may has a higher risk of injuries than passengers.
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