Pediatric trauma management in a rural Wisconsin trauma center

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To determine the results of pediatric trauma care managed with a cooperative effort by general surgeons and pe-diatric intensivists in comparison to national standards.Retrospective chart review.Referral level II trauma center in rural Wisconsin.All pediatric trauma patients age 16 and younger admitted to the hospital from 1990 to 1993.Demographics, mechanisms of injury, revised trauma score (RTS), injury severity score (ISS), surgical procedures, need for intensive care, and outcome were examined. All patients were primarily managed by the trauma surgery service. Those patients requiring intensive care were managed jointly by the trauma surgery service and pediatric intensivists. Outcome was predicted by TRISS analysis; patients identified as “unexpected deaths” underwent critical clinical review to determine potential for survival.There were 531 pediatric trauma admissions. The mean age was 9.0 ± 6.2 (SEM) years and two thirds of the patients were boys. Over half of all injuries were from falls, recreational activities, and motor vehicle crashes. There were few penetrating injuries. The mean RTS was 7.58 ± 0.05, and the majority of patients had an ISS below 10. Sixty-two percent of patients required surgical procedures, most of which were orthopedic. Fourteen percent of patients were admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit. There were 13 deaths for a mortality rate of 2.4%. TRISS analysis identified six deaths as unexpected. Four drownings were not included in TRISS analysis, and there were no unexpected survivors. Of the six unexpected deaths, there were no significant management errors identified on careful review.Cooperation between general surgeons and pediatric intensivists can result in excellent pediatric trauma care in a rural level II trauma center.

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