Send to

Choose Destination
Instr Course Lect. 2016;65:345-52.

Avoiding Errors in the Management of Pediatric Polytrauma Patients.

Author information

Orthopaedic Resident, Department of Orthopaedics, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland.


Management of pediatric polytrauma patients is one of the most difficult challenges for orthopaedic surgeons. Multisystem injuries frequently include complex orthopaedic surgical problems that require intervention. The physiology and anatomy of children and adolescent trauma patients differ from the physiology and anatomy of an adult trauma patient, which alters the types of injuries sustained and the ideal methods for management. Errors of pediatric polytrauma care are included in two broad categories: missed injuries and inadequate fracture treatment. Diagnoses may be missed most frequently because of a surgeon's inability to reliably assess patients who have traumatic brain injuries and painful distracting injuries. Cervical spine injuries are particularly difficult to identify in a child with polytrauma and may have devastating consequences. In children who have multiple injuries, the stabilization of long bone fractures with pediatric fixation techniques, such as elastic nails and other implants, allows for easier care and more rapid mobilization compared with cast treatments. Adolescent polytrauma patients who are approaching skeletal maturity, however, are ideally treated as adults to avoid complications, such as loss of fixation, and to speed rehabilitation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center