Predictors and Patterns of Pediatric Head Injury in Motor Vehicle Crashes

TitlePredictors and Patterns of Pediatric Head Injury in Motor Vehicle Crashes
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2005
AuthorsArbogast KB, Jermakian JS, Yoganandan N, Smith R, Maltese MR, Menon RA
Conference NameInternational Research Conference on the Biomechanics of Impact
Date Published09/2005
Conference LocationPrague, Czech Republic
KeywordsBiophysics, Brain, Children, Collisions, Conferences, Forecasting, Head; Injuries, Measurement, Rotation, Standardization

Traumatic brain and skull injuries are the most common serious injuries sustained by children in motor vehicle crashes. To address head protection for children, regulations typically use the Head Injury Criterion (HIC), scaled from adult and subhuman primate data and based on tolerance for skull fracture. It is unclear whether the spectrum of head injuries sustained by children in motor vehicle crashes is adequately addressed by a fracturebased criterion. To provide insight into this question, this paper evaluates patterns and predictors of paediatric head injuries using a large US population-based surveillance system and clinical data from a large paediatric trauma centre. Predictors of elevated AIS2+ head injury include lap belt only (1.2%), right front seat position (1.4%), rollovers (4.6%) and struck-side crash (1.6%). Examination of non-concussive head injuries showedsimilar relationships. Increasing age was associated with increasing non-concussive head injury risk except for children less than 1 year whose injury risk was slightly higher than their older counterparts. Review of the trauma registry data revealed that approximately 60% of the head injuries sustained by children aged one to 12 years were intracranial injuries in absence of skull fractures. Consideration of the known mechanisms of the specific head injury diagnoses illustrated a potential gap in regulation by highlighting the substantial fraction of injuries that may be better correlated with a head injury metric derived from a measure of head rotation than the current HIC measurement.