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Patterns of moderate and severe injury in children after the introduction of major trauma networks

23 Nov 2018

Objective

To describe the demographics, mechanisms, presentation, injury patterns and outcomes for children with traumatic injuries.

Setting

Data collected from the UK’s Trauma and Audit Research Network.

Design and patients

The demographics, mechanisms of injury and outcomes were described for children with moderate and severe injuries admitted to the Major Trauma Network in England between 2012 and 2017.

Results

Data regarding 9851 children were collected. Most (69%) were male. The median age was 6.4 (SD 5.2) years, but infants aged 0.1 year (36.5 days) were the most frequently injured of all ages (0–15 years); 447 (36.0%) of injuries in infants aged <1 year were from suspected child abuse. Most injuries occurred in the home, from falls <2 m, after school hours, at weekends and during the summer. The majority of injuries were of moderate severity (median Injury Severity Score 9.0, SD 8.7). The limbs and pelvis, followed by the head, were the most frequently and most severely injured body parts. Ninety-two per cent were discharged home and 72.8% made a ‘good recovery’ according to the Glasgow Outcome Scale. 3.1% of children died, their median age was 7.0 years (SD 5.8), but infants were the most commonly fatally injured group.

Conclusions

A common age of injury and mortality was infants aged <1 year. Accident prevention strategies need to focus on the prevention of non-accidental injuries in infants. Trauma services need to be organised to accommodate peak presentation times, which are after school, weekends and the summer.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Archives of Disease in Childhood