Pediatric trauma is the leading cause of death and severe injury among children in the United States. In order for a doctor to properly care for a child experiencing such trauma, the doctor must have special knowledge, know precise management, and pay extreme attention to details. Every single person who comes in contact with the injured child must be familiar with modern trauma care in children.
Pediatric Trauma Care History
Peter Kottmeier established the very first pediatric trauma unit in 1962 at the Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn, New York. Later in 1976, the Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient was published by the American College of Surgeons.
This booklet finally established requirements that a pediatric trauma center should meet. Starting in 1985, the National Pediatric Trauma Registry began collecting data on pediatric accidents. The United States alone houses eighty one accredited pediatric trauma programs today.
Pediatric Trauma Basics
In children older than one year old, injury is the leading cause of death. Injury exceeds every other cause of death—combined—in children. Unintentional injury makes up sixty five percent of all injury deaths in children eighteen years and younger.
In a twenty year study from 1972 to 1992, motor vehicle accidents were the most common cause of death for one to nineteen year old children. The next most common cause of death was homicide or suicide (mostly with firearms), and then drowning. Every year about twenty thousand children and teenagers will die as a result of an injury or pediatric trauma.
For each one child that dies from an injury or trauma, 1120 will be treated in an emergency room and forty will be hospitalized. About fifty thousand children will have an injury that leads to a permanent disability every year. Pediatric trauma is a major health and well-being threat to children.
Pediatric Blunt Trauma And Penetrating Injuries
Blunt trauma to the chest or other areas is a very common cause of pediatric trauma. Penetrating injury of this sort is responsible for about ten to twenty percent of pediatric trauma. Sadly, gunshot wounds are the cause of most penetrating injuries.
These traumas have a much higher mortality rate then simple blunt object injuries. Increase in urban violence has caused an increase in the frequency of children with pediatric trauma from penetrating injuries. However, other objects can, and do, cause blunt and penetrating trauma. Fender edges, shrapnel, and door handles can all cause blunt or penetrating trauma in children.
These injuries are very common in children. In order to protect your child, make sure that your home is safe and that your child is always safely secured in their car seat.