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J Pediatr Surg. 1990 Jan;25(1):85-90; discussion 90-1.

Patterns of injury in children.

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Emergency Trauma Services, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC 20010.


Trauma is the leading cause of death for children over 1 year of age. This study was undertaken to identify the patterns of injury among children admitted to a regional pediatric trauma center. During a 34-month period, 3,472 injured children were consecutively admitted to a regional pediatric trauma center. Data were collected on medical, etiological, and financial aspects of injury. Eight subgroups were defined by mechanism of injury: motor-vehicle crash occupants, pedestrian and cycle injuries, falls, child abuse, gunshot and stab wounds, burns, poisonings, and foreign body ingestions or aspirations. Analysis of variance, Duncan's multiple range test, and contingency table analysis were used to determine differences among subgroups of children. Blunt and penetrating trauma accounted for 64.3% of all admissions. The mean age of injured children was 5.5 years; 64% of the children were boys. Sixty-seven percent of the children were admitted directly from the scene of injury. One-way analysis of variance yielded significant differences in mean age, mean hospital length of stay (LOS), mean intensive care LOS, mean trauma score, mean injury severity, and mean hospital charges by mechanism of injury (P less than .01). The overall mortality rate was 2.4%. Child abuse, gunshot/stab wounds, and drowning had the highest mortality rates, but injuries to motor-vehicle crash occupants and pedestrians accounted for the greatest number of deaths.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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