Not friend of a friend stuff or an email going around, this wacky list is complied by the government. This article also introduced me to a fabulous new word, malcoordination.
NHS admissions: bizarre mishaps that put patients in hospital
February 26, 2009Â |Â www.timesonline.co.ukÂ |Â Sam Lister
From leaf cuts, hammer blows and hornet stings to cigarettes in bed and pensioners on rollerskates â€” the latest admission statistics reveal the full gamut of mishaps, malcoordination and moments of idiocy that put Britons in hospital last year.
The figures, from the NHS Information Centre, point to a nation beset by clumsiness, but also show the subtle social trends and popular obsessions that resulted in a trip to hospital in England in the year to April 2008.
Insects and other creepy crawlies took their toll, whether venomous or not. A total of 2,614 people were admitted to hospital after a bite or sting from a non-venomous insect, more than triple the number of a decade ago. Large rises were reported among people over 60 â€” perhaps attributable in part to the growth of foreign travel as well as to recent warm summers.
Hornets claimed a further 810 victims â€” up 15 per cent on 2006-07 â€” while scorpions got their stings into six people, their regular annual rate. Spiders were responsible for 18 hospital admissions, and snakes and lizards a further 49. Other biters â€” such as rats (21), fish (28) and crocodiles (1) â€” also did their bit.
Our growing fondness for exotic plants may be to blame for the 244 cases caused by contact with â€œplant thorns and sharp leavesâ€, up 30 per cent on 1998-99.
Of the 4,283 people who ended up in hospital after a fall off ice-skates, skis, rollerskates and skateboards, 166 were over the age of 60, with 24 older than 75. A possible over-enthusiasm among the older generation also led to 61 pensioners being admitted after â€œfalls involving playground equipmentâ€.
Other pieces of machinery causing trouble included pressurised water jets â€” used to clean cars, patios and garden furniture â€” and lawnmowers. In both cases nearly all the victims were men. The love affair with DIY may be responsible for a rise in the number of incidents involving â€œcontact with non-powered hand toolsâ€, such as hammers, planes, pliers and screwdrivers. The number of hospital admissions rose from 2,325 in 2000 to almost 4,335 last year.
Forces of nature also added to national ill-health, with 44 victims of lightning, 15 of volcanic eruption, 10 suffering from the after-effects of being caught in an avalanche, and 18 from a â€œcataclysmic stormâ€.
Victims of an â€œignition of nightwearâ€ â€” most probably caused by a stray cigarette â€” were up a couple on recent years, but down in the longer term.
We may be a nation of tea-drinkers, but we are not very good at it, it would appear. Hot drinks caused considerable discomfort with 1,722 hospital visits, a steady rise over the past 10 years. A further 629 people went to hospital after scalds from the hot tap.
Among the more intriguing entries are two people who went into hospital after a â€œprolonged stay in a weightless environmentâ€. It is not known what prompted the classification, but past mishaps have involved trainee astronauts and rollercoaster rides.