Crocodile bites and lightning strike victims among unusual cases seen by NHS

The NHS treated patients with crocodile bites and people injured during volcanic eruptions in 2019/20, new figures show.

The health service in England also cared for three patients who were the "victim of lightning".

These were some of the more obscure events the NHS dealt with between April 1 2019 and March 31 2020.

According to the hospital patient care activity statistics, there were also 490 injuries related to lawnmowers.

Meanwhile, more than 1,000 people were treated after slipping on ice or snow.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

There were 4,489 falls involving ice-skates, skis, roller-skates or skateboards which were serious enough to warrant hospital treatment.

More than 8,100 people – presumably mostly children – were treated after falling from playground equipment, according to the NHS Digital figures.

Patients were also in need of attention after being bitten by, or in contact with, animals.

Medics treated 10 people who were "bitten or struck by crocodile or alligator".

Rat bites were responsible for 48 hospital "episodes" across England, and 47 people were treated after incidents involving venomous snakes and lizards.

Contact with scorpions was listed as the reason for another 10 consultations, and more than 60 people were admitted to hospitals in England after encounters with venomous spiders.

Hot tap water was responsible for 714 medical incidents.

Three people were admitted to hospital after being the "victim of lightning" and another three because of earthquakes.

Five people were treated for injuries from "volcanic eruption".

The data, which is inputted by medics working in hospitals across England, came from hospital activity in 2019/2020.

While there is some room for human error in the data input process, the figures show some of the more unusual accidents and injuries that staff in the NHS treat throughout the year.

The last year has been particularly hard on the health service as it treated almost 200,000 Covid-19 patients, while trying to tackle the backlog of care caused by the pandemic.

Playground stock
There were 8,101 hospital 'episodes' after a fall involving playground equipment (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The service has maintained that it is "open for business" while it tackles the fallout from the coronavirus crisis, and has encouraged people to seek help when they need it.

Commenting on the figures, Jo Bullock, head of awareness and education at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, told the PA news agency: "The publication of hospital admission figures always serves to remind us of the breadth of accident types that can result in an injury so severe that admission to hospital is required.

"In among the stranger entries in the database are some worrying trends that serve to highlight the accident challenges that we face.

"Total accident-related hospital admissions are increasing, rising to more than 800,000 in 2019/20 in England alone, with falls accounting for nearly 490,000 of these admissions.

"Accidents are preventable.

"In the midst of the excitement of Christmas, particularly for those who will be spending time with loved ones for the first time in many months, we'd urge people to spare a thought for safety so the celebrations are not cut short by an accident that could have been prevented."

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