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J Pediatr Surg. 2005 Aug;40(8):1248-51.

Camel-related injuries in the pediatric age group.

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Division of Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, Tawam Hospital, Al-Ain, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.



Road traffic accidents continue to be a major cause of morbidity and mortality among children. Domestic animal-related injuries in general, camel-related in particular, have not been given much attention, and very little is written about them.


The medical records of all children admitted to our hospital with camel-related injuries were retrospectively reviewed for age, sex, mechanism of injury, type of injuries, treatment, and outcome.


Seventy-eight children with camel-related injuries were seen at our hospital. Most of them were camel jockeys. All were males, and their ages ranged from 4 to 15 years (mean, 8.6 years). In 74, the cause of injury was a fall from a racing camel, 2 were kicked by a camel, and 1 had a camel bite. Forty-four (56.4%) had head injury, which was moderate to severe in 17, and 6 of them had associated skull fractures, whereas 3 had intracranial hematomas. Twenty-five (32.1%) had fractures of various bones, and 14 of them had fracture of the tibia. One child had L2 and L3 dislocation, with displacement and compression fracture of L2. Two sustained thoracic injuries, whereas 9 had intraabdominal injuries, including liver injury (3), splenic injury (1), renal injury (3), and bowel injury (2). One had a camel bite leading to a fractured mandible, injury to his ear, and intimal tear of the left common carotid artery.


Camels are a potential cause of serious injuries and a major public health problem for children in this part of the world. This is especially so for camel jockeys. Every effort should be made to prevent such injuries, including limiting camel racing to older children as well as providing adequate protective measures and public education about the proper and compassionate handling of domestic animals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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