Envisioning Future of Pediatric Trauma Care

May 23, 2013

A few weeks ago, I was invited to participate in a summit of over 50 pediatric trauma specialists from across the country in Winston-Salem, NC. Our goal: to create a 10-year plan to improve pediatric trauma care in the areas of research, treatment, and education. CHOP was well represented at the Pediatric Trauma Summit. CIRP@CHOP founder and co-scientific director Flaura Winston, MD, PhD was an invited participant and Michael Nance, MD, director of CHOP’s Pediatric Trauma Program, had a key role as a workgroup leader.

The Childress Summit of the Pediatric Trauma Society
(photo courtesy of Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma)

During breakout sessions focused on critical care, general trauma, neuro-trauma, and trauma systems, multidisciplinary groups discussed pediatric trauma from all ends of the spectrum, providing a comprehensive assessment of the challenges we face in the field. The group I was part of included surgeons, nurses, an epidemiologist and a psychologist. We envisioned future newspaper headlines heralding our progress in the field, and laid out key steps to make these a reality. These steps will require true multi-disciplinary collaboration as well as policy and systems change.

The Summit crystallized a vision, shared by all those in attendance, to ensure that excellent trauma care is accessible to all injured children in our country. Across the three days of the Summit, I was particularly encouraged by the emphasis on psychosocial care for children and their families following a traumatic injury, the focus of CIRP@CHOP’s Post-injury Care and Recovery line of research. Our work at CIRP@CHOP, and at the Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress, has helped create evidence-based and practical tools for integration of physical and psychosocial care of the injured child (see www.AfterTheInjury.org). The Summit was co-hosted by the Pediatric Trauma Society and the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma. The Childress Institute is also the newest member of CHOP’s Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies (CChIPS).