Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Spinal Cord Med. 2007;30 Suppl 1:S21-4.

Lapbelt injuries and the seatbelt syndrome in pediatric spinal cord injury.

Author information

1
Section of Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, Temple University School of Medicine and Temple University Children's Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19140, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE:

Approximately 250,000 patients are presently living with spinal cord injury (SCI) in the United States. Approximately 20% of patients with SCI are less than 20 years old, and 15% are less than 15 years old. The most common cause of pediatric SCI is a motor vehicle collision (MVC; approximately 40%); lapbelt injuries and the seatbelt syndrome are seen more often in children involved in MVCs.

METHODS:

A search and analysis of current literature on lapbelt injuries, seatbelt syndrome, and pediatric SCI using PubMed.

RESULTS:

Children involved in MVCs who are improperly restrained are at higher risk of sustaining injuries. The risk of significant intra-abdominal injuries is increased almost fourfold in these children. Presence of abdominal wall ecchymosis (AWE) was associated with intra-abdominal injuries in up to 84% of children, with hollow viscus injury being the most common. Likewise, presence of AWE is associated with vertebral fractures, including Chance fractures, in up to 50% of patients. Vertebral fractures were associated with SCI in up to 11%. The presence of AWE in an improperly restrained child should warrant a thorough search for intra-abdominal injuries, vertebral fractures, and SCI.

CONCLUSIONS:

Lapbelt injuries and the seatbelt syndrome are often associated with pediatric SCI in improperly restrained children. This injury complex and its associated abdominal injuries are difficult to diagnose unless a high index of suspicion is maintained; delay in diagnosis increases morbidity, and early surgical intervention should be considered.

PMID:
17874682
PMCID:
PMC2031975
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center