natural history blog

Natural history and parasitical feedings on the world's press

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Zoological and natural hazards and the NHS

Volcanic eruptions, lightning strikes, lizard bites and hornet stings caused some of the more unusual injuries listed by the Department of Health (DoH).

From the Guardian here:
Accidents cost the NHS about £1bn a year. The most common cause of injury was falling, which led to 119,203 admissions to casualty.

Thousands suffered attacks from a wide variety of animals. These included 451 people stung by hornets, 46 bitten by venomous snakes and lizards, 24 bitten by rats, 15 injured in contact with a marine mammal, two people bitten by centipedes and one attacked by an alligator. But dogs accounted for most injuries with 3,508 people suffering bites.

Hundreds more fell victims to natural hazards, with 54 people struck by lightning, 37 victims of "volcanic eruption", 25 injured in "catacylsmic storms", 12 suffered from avalanches and seven were victims of earthquakes. A further 107 were exposed to "unspecified forces of nature".

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