Almost half of injured Haitians in mega quake are likely to be children

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Washington, January 28 (ANI): A statistical study has indicated that the victims of the January 12 quake in Haiti include an extraordinarily high number of children - more than 110,000, nearly half of the estimated total.

The study has been carried out by a specialist group at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and the University of Southern California.

This information should guide relief workers on the ground, according to Jeffrey Upperman, M.D. and Robert Neches PhD, co-developers of the Pediatric Emergency Decision Support System (PEDSS), a software tool to help medical service providers more effectively plan for, train for, and respond to serious incidents and disasters affecting children.

The PEDSS group has set up a blog to help guide the choice and distribution of relief supplies.

The numbers are if anything understated, according to Neches, but the calculations use the latest available reports from relief efforts on the ground.

PEDSS uses statistical methods to estimate how many of the potential victims of a disaster in a given specific location will be children, and what they will need.

Children have special needs for equipment, including thinner hypodermic needles, appropriate pharmaceuticals in childrens dosages, and medical specialists in pediatrics and in other areas.

Such needs in Haiti are particularly intense, because fully 35 percent of the population is under 15, meaning the estimated total number of injuries (250,000) contains far more children than it would in other areas.

PEDSS software tools work with seven age groups, ranging from 0-1 month up to 12-18 year-olds.

Applied to Haitian demographics, they predict that injuries to persons under 18 make up close to half of the total - some 111,000, or 44 percent.

The same report details how many injuries are expected for each of eleven diagnoses, ranging from abdominal trauma to spine injury, in each of the age groups.

Thus, for example, the model estimates that about 1000 children aged 6-8 suffered crush injuries.

The software then uses these numbers to predict which medications and supplies each victim group would require.

Thus, for example, for treatment of the numerous crush injuries projected the program lists the drugs required and totals the amounts needed. (ANI)

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