Is paediatric trauma severity overestimated at triage? An observational follow-up study

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H Q DO, R Hesselfeldt, J Steinmetz, L S Rasmussen

BACKGROUND: Severe paediatric trauma is rare, and pre-hospital and local hospital personnel experience with injured children is often limited. We hypothesised that a higher proportion of paediatric trauma victims were taken to the regional trauma centre (TC).

METHODS: This is an observational follow-up study that involves one level I TC and seven local hospitals. We included paediatric (< 16 years) and adult (≥ 16-≤ 79 years) trauma patients with a driving distance to the TC > 30 minutes. The primary end-point was the proportion of trauma patients arriving in the TC.

RESULTS: We included 1934 trauma patients, 238 children and 1696 adults. A total of 33/238 children (13.9%) vs. 304/1696 adults (17.9%) were transported to the TC post-injury (P = 0.14). Among these, children were significantly less injured than adults [median Injury Severity Score (ISS) 9 vs. 14, P < 0.01]. There was no significant difference between the groups in the proportion of seriously injured trauma victims (ISS > 15) taken to the TC [8/11 (72.7%) vs. 139/182 (76.4%)]. The corresponding figures for ISS < 15 were 25/227 (11.0%) and 164/1509 (10.9%), respectively. No significant difference was found in intensive care unit length of stay or time to TC arrival. No paediatric vs. 36/1671 (2.2%) adult deaths were observed at 30-day follow-up (P = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS: There was no difference in the proportion of paediatric and adult trauma patients transported to the TC, neither overall nor among severely injured patients. Paediatric trauma patients admitted to the TC were, however, significantly less injured than adults.

TidsskriftActa Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)98-105
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2014

ID: 138808537