Dr Mohammed Al Amri
DOHA: The Paediatric Emergency Centre at Al Saad has received 11 drowning cases within 12 months.
Majority of the incidents have taken place in swimming pools in residential compounds and due to lack of adult supervision, says a senior official.
The cases occurred between June 2012 and June 2013.
“The number could be small but it’s a big problem,” said Dr Mohammed Al Amri, Assistant Director, Emergency Centre at Al Saad yesterday.
“Majority of drowning and near- drowning incidents took place because children were left alone or sometimes under the supervision of an elder child.
“It’s difficult to predict how a child would behave and what he or she is thinking, so children should be kept under adult supervision all the time,” said Dr Al Amri.
However, he refused to disclose details about deaths caused by drowning.
Twenty-five cases were reported in 2011 and a majority of children involved died.
Most drowning cases took place in swimming pools and very few in the sea.
The centre has treated 500,000 cases, 25,000 of stomach flu – gastroenteritis and 35 cases of choking.
The centre also treats suspected cases of child abuse, drug abuse and poisoning.
As health-related cases increase in September, nearly 1,100 children were treated per day at the centre, with majority of them viral illnesses.
However, Dr Al Amri said 75 percent of cases did not require emergency treatment and could have be handled at primary health care centres.
“Normal, active children with the required immunised level, having fever or cough does not require treatment at an emergency centre,” he said.
“Some parents are in a hurry to cure the child; they should wait for sometime after giving medicine and before coming to the emergency centre,” he added.
The centre is likely to start treating minor trauma cases like small cut wounds.
Presently, paediatric centres in the country stabilise patients and transfer them to the emergency and trauma centre at the Hamad General Hospital.
“In future we will start to deal with minor trauma cases in paediatric emergency,” Al Amri added.