Abusive Injuries Are Worse Than Vehicular Injuries: Should We Refocus Prevention?

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Abstract

Objectives

The objective of this study was to compare the injury severity and outcome of motor vehicle and nonaccidental traumatic injuries and examine trends in mortality rates over time.

Methods

We reviewed data from 2005 to 2013 from a level 1 pediatric trauma center including demographics, injury severity, and outcomes. Primary outcomes of interest were mortality rates and hospital length of stay.

Results

Injury severity scores were significantly worse for nonaccidental traumas (NATs) (P < 0.001) compared with motor vehicle collisions and motor pedestrian collisions. Nonaccidental traumas were also found to have significantly longer length of stay and higher fatality rates (P < 0.001). Significant differences were also found for the types of injuries sustained for head, extremity, trunk, and other injuries (P < 0.001), and for internal injuries (P < 0.01. Admission rates also dropped for both motor vehicle collisions and motor pedestrian collisions across the 9-year period (P < 0.001) but remained stable for NATs.

Conclusion

In this study population, more severe injuries, higher mortality rates, and longer hospital stays were observed in pediatric NAT compared with those sustained through vehicular means. Furthermore, we observed statistically significant declines in motor vehicle–related injuries compared with NAT.

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