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Pediatr Emerg Care. 2004 Jul;20(7):421-5.

Trauma stat and trauma minor: are we making the call appropriately?

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Division of Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children's Hospital, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.



Trauma accounts for a significant number of pediatric emergency room visits and is the leading cause of death in pediatric patients over 1 year of age. To provide quality care, protocols are used to mobilize personnel to treat injured patients. We reviewed our experience at a level 1 pediatric trauma center, where a 2-tiered trauma activation protocol is used in treating children with significant injuries.


We analyzed data in our trauma registry from 1994 to 1999 of patients with Injury Severity Score > or = 9 in whom trauma activations were called. Data reflected demographics, severity of injury, hospital course and outcome. Trauma activations were based on standard protocols that took physiologic status, anatomic area of injury, and mechanism of injury into account. Nineteen personnel were notified in a Trauma Stat Activation, and 8 were notified in a Trauma Minor Activation.


There were 470 trauma activations: Trauma Stat = 220 and Trauma Minor = 250. As a group, Trauma Stat patients were more hemodynamically unstable, had a lower GCS and a higher Injury Severity Score than Trauma Minor patients. Patients in the Trauma Stat group were also more likely to require intensive care and have a prolonged hospitalization. The Trauma Stat group had a mortality rate of 20%. There were no deaths in the Trauma Minor group.


Trauma activations result in heavy resource utilization and must be appropriate. The 2 trauma activation levels were associated with differences in injury severity, medical resource utilization, and outcome. With no deaths in the Trauma Minor group and a 20% mortality rate in the Trauma Stat group, we conclude that the protocol used was neither too conservative, nor too liberal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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