PURPOSE

The purpose of this report is to provide information to individuals interested in unintentional drowning deaths among Arizona residents. The data for 1997 are placed in a temporal context by comparison with the data for the preceding years.

METHODS AND SOURCES

In this report, nonboat-related unintentional drownings as the underlying cause of death are coded in ICD* as E910; boat-related unintentional drownings are coded E830 or E832. Submersion and drowning undetermined as to whether it was unintentional or purposely inflicted is coded E984. Data to determine the number and characteristics of drownings in Arizona are obtained from the death certificates filed with the Arizona Department of Health Services. Data for the United States are from the Centers for Disease Control, unless otherwise specified.

Population figures for Arizona residents, used to calculate rates, are projections from the Population Statistics Unit in the Arizona Department of Economic Security (data for 1987-1989 and 1993-1997) and the U.S. Census Bureau (data for 1990 and population denominators by ethnic group for 1980, 1990, and 1997). Detailed population data by gender, age and county were unavailable for 1991-1992. In order to obtain the population denominators for these two years, the 1990 percentages of population breakdowns (or census shares) by age group and gender were applied to 1991 and 1992 total state or county population estimates published by the DES.

Due to the public health importance of this type of drowning in Arizona, this report estimated the number of swimming pool drownings. Swimming pool drownings were drownings which met either of the following criteria:

  1. The supplementary code for place of accident was zero and the ICD code for nonboat-related drowning was not E910.4 (drowning in bathtub); these were defined to be at home swimming pool drownings;
  2. The supplementary code for place of accident was not zero and the ICD code for nonboat-related drownings was E910.8* ("other"); these were defined to be not at home swimming pool drownings.

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