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Illness and injury to students on a school excursion to Peru.
J Travel Med. 2014 May-Jun; 21(3):183-8.JT

Abstract

BACKGROUND

School-organized travels abroad provide an opportunity for students to undertake supervised travel that reinforces scholastic study of various geographical locations under the direction and protection of experienced tour leaders and health professional support. Little is known concerning the nature of illnesses and injuries occurring on overseas school excursions. This study was designed to investigate the prevalence of injury and illness suffered by older teenagers on a school excursion to South America.

METHODS

In 2010, the school's tour physician (EH) diagnosed and recorded all illnesses and injuries among 29 school girls and 6 accompanying adults on a school excursion to Peru. Information recorded included age, sex, the nature of the presenting illness, number of days into the tour, the assessment of the condition, and the treatment employed during the excursion's field phase of 21 days.

RESULTS

A total of 32 (91%) travelers sought medical advice at least once for a total of 371 consultations, resulting in 153 separate diagnoses. The mean age of the students was 16 years with six adults accompanying the students being significantly older. Primary illnesses diagnosed were related to the following systems and conditions: gastrointestinal (58, 37%), respiratory (25, 16%), altitude sickness (19, 12%), genitourinary (8, 5%), dermatological (10, 7%), trauma (7, 5%), neurological (7, 5%), anxiety or psychological adjustment (7, 5%), adverse drug reactions (4, 3%), and musculoskeletal (5, 3%). The most commonly used medications were antidiarrheal and antiemetic medication. There were six accidents during the journey resulting in minor soft-tissue injuries. There were no deaths or other major accidents requiring emergency evacuation or hospitalization.

CONCLUSIONS

On this school excursion, the health problems encountered were consistent with those reported for other specialized tours, including expeditions and premium tours, although altitude illness needs to be carefully planned for in tours to higher elevation destinations as in South America. As well as being part of the service provided to the school students, the inclusion of a physician with appropriate medical supplies for this tour increased the independence of the travel group. A proposed medical kit for such an excursion is presented.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Worldwise Travellers Health Centres of New Zealand, Auckland, New Zealand; School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

24612303

Citation

Shaw, Marc T M., et al. "Illness and Injury to Students On a School Excursion to Peru." Journal of Travel Medicine, vol. 21, no. 3, 2014, pp. 183-8.
Shaw MT, Harding E, Leggat PA. Illness and injury to students on a school excursion to Peru. J Travel Med. 2014;21(3):183-8.
Shaw, M. T., Harding, E., & Leggat, P. A. (2014). Illness and injury to students on a school excursion to Peru. Journal of Travel Medicine, 21(3), 183-8. https://doi.org/10.1111/jtm.12105
Shaw MT, Harding E, Leggat PA. Illness and Injury to Students On a School Excursion to Peru. J Travel Med. 2014 May-Jun;21(3):183-8. PubMed PMID: 24612303.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Illness and injury to students on a school excursion to Peru. AU - Shaw,Marc T M, AU - Harding,Elizabeth, AU - Leggat,Peter A, Y1 - 2014/03/11/ PY - 2013/09/18/received PY - 2013/11/04/revised PY - 2013/11/12/accepted PY - 2014/3/12/entrez PY - 2014/3/13/pubmed PY - 2014/12/17/medline SP - 183 EP - 8 JF - Journal of travel medicine JO - J Travel Med VL - 21 IS - 3 N2 - BACKGROUND: School-organized travels abroad provide an opportunity for students to undertake supervised travel that reinforces scholastic study of various geographical locations under the direction and protection of experienced tour leaders and health professional support. Little is known concerning the nature of illnesses and injuries occurring on overseas school excursions. This study was designed to investigate the prevalence of injury and illness suffered by older teenagers on a school excursion to South America. METHODS: In 2010, the school's tour physician (EH) diagnosed and recorded all illnesses and injuries among 29 school girls and 6 accompanying adults on a school excursion to Peru. Information recorded included age, sex, the nature of the presenting illness, number of days into the tour, the assessment of the condition, and the treatment employed during the excursion's field phase of 21 days. RESULTS: A total of 32 (91%) travelers sought medical advice at least once for a total of 371 consultations, resulting in 153 separate diagnoses. The mean age of the students was 16 years with six adults accompanying the students being significantly older. Primary illnesses diagnosed were related to the following systems and conditions: gastrointestinal (58, 37%), respiratory (25, 16%), altitude sickness (19, 12%), genitourinary (8, 5%), dermatological (10, 7%), trauma (7, 5%), neurological (7, 5%), anxiety or psychological adjustment (7, 5%), adverse drug reactions (4, 3%), and musculoskeletal (5, 3%). The most commonly used medications were antidiarrheal and antiemetic medication. There were six accidents during the journey resulting in minor soft-tissue injuries. There were no deaths or other major accidents requiring emergency evacuation or hospitalization. CONCLUSIONS: On this school excursion, the health problems encountered were consistent with those reported for other specialized tours, including expeditions and premium tours, although altitude illness needs to be carefully planned for in tours to higher elevation destinations as in South America. As well as being part of the service provided to the school students, the inclusion of a physician with appropriate medical supplies for this tour increased the independence of the travel group. A proposed medical kit for such an excursion is presented. SN - 1708-8305 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/24612303/full_citation L2 - https://academic.oup.com/jtm/article-lookup/doi/10.1111/jtm.12105 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -