Severe outcome of children following trauma resulting from road accidents

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The aim of the study was to determine the risk factors of a severe outcome for children severely injured [killed or with an Injury Severity Score (ISS) ≥16] in a road accident.

Materials and methods

Casualties that occurred between 1996 and 2001 which involved children under 14 years of age were assessed in a population-based study based on data included in a French road trauma Registry. A severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) was defined as a head injury with an Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) severity score ≥3. A multivariate logistic regression was performed to quantify the risk of a “severe outcome” defined as death or an expected serious impairment 1 year later.


The annual incidence of an ISS of 16+ was 7.7 per 100,000 children. Among the 126 severely injured children included in this study, 40 died (including 16 immediate deaths), and a severe outcome was expected for 54 of the 86 survivors. Children with an “isolated severe TBI” and those with “multiple injuries including TBI” were more likely to have a severe outcome than those who had an “isolated severe injury without TBI” (OR: 7.91; 95%CI: 1.43-43.77 and OR: 8.37; 95%CI: 1.52-46.13, respectively). Age was inversely linked to a severe outcome. The unprotected motor vehicle occupants (MVO) had an odds ratio of 7.56 (95%CI: 1.07-53.56) compared to the protected MVO. Only 30% of children who survived a severe TBI were admitted to rehabilitation.


The mechanism of the injury, an injury pattern involving the head and a young age were associated with a severe outcome following a road accident. A majority of children severely injured were not referred to inpatient rehabilitation.

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