Center for Injury Research and Prevention

A National Analysis of Pediatric Trauma Care Utilization and Outcomes in the United States

TitleA National Analysis of Pediatric Trauma Care Utilization and Outcomes in the United States
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsMyers SR, Branas CC, French B, Nance ML, Carr BG
JournalPediatr Emerg Care
Date Published01/2019
Type of ArticleJournal
KeywordsAdolescent, Child, Child Mortality, Child, Preschool, Cohort Studies, Databases, Factual, Female, Hospital Mortality, Humans, Injury Severity Score, Male, Survival Rate, Trauma Centers, United States, Wounds and Injuries

OBJECTIVES: More childhood deaths are attributed to trauma than all other causes combined. Our objectives were to provide the first national description of the proportion of injured children treated at pediatric trauma centers (TCs), and to provide clarity to the presumed benefit of pediatric TC verification by comparing injury mortality across hospital types.

METHODS: We performed a population-based cohort study using the 2006 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids Inpatient Database combined with national TC inventories. We included pediatric discharges (≤16 y) with the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision code(s) for injury. Descriptive analyses were performed evaluating proportions of injured children cared for by TC level. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to estimate differences in in-hospital mortality by TC type (among level-1 TCs only). Analyses were survey-weighted using Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project sampling weights.

RESULTS: Of 153,380 injured children, 22.3% were admitted to pediatric TCs, 45.2% to general TCs, and 32.6% to non-TCs. Overall mortality was 0.9%. Among level-1 TCs, raw mortality was 1.0% pediatric TC, 1.4% dual TC, and 2.1% general TC. In adjusted analyses, treatment at level-1 pediatric TCs was associated with a significant mortality decrease compared to level-1 general TCs (adjusted odds ratio, 0.6; 95% confidence intervals, 0.4-0.9).

CONCLUSIONS: Our results provide the first national evidence that treatment at verified pediatric TCs may improve outcomes, supporting a survival benefit with pediatric trauma verification. Given lack of similar survival advantage found for level-1 dual TCs (both general/pediatric verified), we highlight the need for further investigation to understand factors responsible for the survival advantage at pediatric-only TCs, refine pediatric accreditation guidelines, and disseminate best practices.

Alternate JournalPediatr Emerg Care
PubMed ID27618592
PubMed Central IDPMC5344780
Grant ListR01 CE001615 / CE / NCIPC CDC HHS / United States
K08 HS017960 / HS / AHRQ HHS / United States
KM1 CA156715 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
F32 HS018604 / HS / AHRQ HHS / United States
R49 CE002474 / CE / NCIPC CDC HHS / United States
R03 HD061523 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States