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Accidental asphyxia due to closing of a motor vehicle power window ▸

A 34 month old girl was left inside a car as her father went into a grocery store. She was in the front passenger seat unrestrained. Minutes later, her father found her unresponsive, apnoeic, with her neck pinned between the top of the window and the upper door frame. Basic life support was initiated and she was driven to an emergency centre. On arrival in the emergency department she was seizing. After anticonvulsive drugs administration, she was transported to our PICU where, on admission, she was self ventilating, with a Glasgow coma score (GCS) of 7. Tomography showed only mild cerebral oedema. After 24 hours of neurological observation her GCS was 15. She was later discharged home with normal neurological status. Injuries among children left unattended in motor vehicles are frequent despite their easily preventable nature. These injuries are poorly recognised and receive less attention than vehicle crashes. Power window associated injuries usually affect children, particularly those under 6 years, and are often under-reported. Protective actions that could avoid such injuries include installation of reversal systems or anti-trapping features. Current legislation only requires accidental actuation resistant switches. Parental education would also be effective in this …

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