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Registration date : 2007-12-11
|Subject: Pool Drains Pose Serious Risks To Child Swimmers Fri Mar 21, 2008 11:29 am|| |
Pool Drain Pulls Small Intestine Out Of Young Girl
by Heather Brown
Minneapolis (WCCO) ― A 6-year-old Edina, Minn. girl has been hospitalized after a horrific accident at a swimming pool.
Abigail Taylor was severely injured Friday when she sat over an open drain hole in a wading pool at the Minneapolis Golf Club.
Now Abigail's father has a warning to other families: Pool and hot tub drain accidents are a hidden danger that many of us don't understand.
Abigail has big brown eyes, a dazzling smile and at just 6 years old she has already competed in local swim meets.
"She loves to swim," said her father Scott Taylor.
Her love of swimming is why her family didn't think twice when she played at a kiddie pool at the family's golf club on Friday night.
Taylor said as Abigail was getting out of the pool, she fell.
"She more or less blacked out, she passed out, fell face-first onto the pool decking," he said. The family thought it was a seizure.
An ambulance rushed her to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. Several hours later a surgeon said Abigail was lucky to be alive.
"The suction had caused a two-inch tear in her rectum and had basically disemboweled her by pulling out her small intestines, almost all of it," said Taylor.
Her father said a search of the pool filter turned up Abigail's intestine. He said Abigail was seriously wounded because the cover of the drain had been removed.
In most public pools the drain cover is screwed in and cannot be pulled off. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the pressure on some pool drains can be as strong as 300 pounds per square inch.
"It never even crosses anybody's mind that potential at the bottom of that pool is enough force to literally disembowel a child, an adult," said Taylor.
Abigail will have to be fed intravenously for the rest of her life and will have to have a colostomy bag.
"We view it as a miracle that she's still with us," her father said.
She is improving. Wednesday morning she stunned her family by asking a question.
"She said, 'Am I going to be on the news?' She said, 'Why do you ask?' She said, 'Because I want to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else,'" recalled Taylor.
Since 1990, 170 people, mostly children, have been caught in drains and 27 of them have died. Legislation is pending that would require pools and hot tubs to have multiple drains to ease the suction.
Some pools have a safety vacuum cutoff which shuts down if someone is trapped. New drain covers which cost less than $50 can also help.
According to the Associated Press, an official at the golf club expressed sympathy for the family and said he didn't think anything was wrong with the pool, but referred questions to the club's attorney, who declined to comment.