Epidemiology of paediatric trauma in Norway: a single-trauma centre observational study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInternational Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2019, . 10.1186/s12245-019-0236-9
BACKGROUND: Trauma is a major cause of mortality and morbidity in children globally. The burden of injury shows substantial geographical differences, with a significant mortality reduction in children in Norway during the last four decades. The aim was to describe the current epidemiology, resource use and outcome for all potential severely injured paediatric patients admitted to a Norwegian trauma centre. METHODS: This was a single-centre retrospective observational study. All patients aged 0-17 years received by a trauma team between 01 January 2004 and 31 December 2016 (13 years) at St. Olav's University Hospital were included. Severe injury was defined as Injury Severity Score > 15. RESULTS: A total of 873 patients were included, of which 536 (61%) were male. The median age was 13 years (IQR 7-16). Six per cent (n = 52) of the patients were transferred from other hospitals. Blunt trauma constituted 98%, with traffic (n = 532/61%) and falls (n = 233/27%) as the most common mechanisms. Eight patients (1%) died within 30 days of hospital admission. Fifteen per cent (n = 128) were severely injured. Among the patients transferred from another hospital, 46% (n = 24) had severe injuries. Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) were more used in younger age groups and in patients more severely injured. CONCLUSIONS: In a developed healthcare system, the number of potentially severely injured children is small and with very few deaths following trauma. Transport and falls represent the most common causes of injury throughout all age groups, though with a tendency towards more transport-related injuries with increasing age. In-hospital trauma care is characterized by a low threshold for a multidisciplinary reception, low use of intensive care and need for emergency surgical procedures, though with increased need in the older children.