BACKGROUND: Health-care costs for hand and forearm injuries in young children are poorly documented. We examined costs in 533 children injured years 1996-2003. METHODS: Health-care costs and costs for lost productivity were retrospectively calculated in children from three catchment areas in Sweden. Seven case categories corresponding to alternative prevention strategies were constructed. RESULTS: Over time, diminishing number of ward days reduced the health-care cost per case. Among children, the cost of lost productivity due to parental leave was 14 percent of total cost. Fingertip injuries had low median costs but high total costs due to their frequency. Complex injuries by machine or rifle had high costs per case, and despite a low number of cases, total cost was high. Type of injury, surgery and physiotherapy sessions were associated with variations in health-care cost. Low age and ethnic background had a significant effect on number of ward days. CONCLUSION: The costs per hand injury for children were lower compared to adults due to both lower health-care costs and to the fact that parents had comparatively short periods of absence from work. Frequent simple fingertip injuries and rare complex injuries induce high costs for society. Such costs should be related to costs for prevention of these injuries.
The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Hand Surgery Research Group (013241910), Division of Health Economics and Forensic Medicine (Closed 2012) (013040050), Reconstructive Surgery (013240300)