Pediatric vascular trauma practice patterns and resource availability: A survey of American College of Surgeon–designated pediatric trauma centers

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Variation exists in pediatric vascular trauma management. We aim to determine practice patterns for vascular trauma management at American College of Surgeons verified pediatric trauma centers and evaluate the resources available for management of vascular trauma at both freestanding children’s hospitals (FSCH) and pediatric hospitals within general adult hospitals.

METHODS

Pediatric surgeons and trauma medical directors at American College of Surgeons designated pediatric surgery trauma centers completed a survey designed to evaluate anticipated management of traumatic arterial injuries and resource availability. Hospital setting comparisons were made using Fisher exact tests and t tests. Binomial tests were used to compare pediatric and vascular surgeons’ responses to clinical vignettes. p Values of 0.05 or less were significant.

RESULTS

One hundred seventy-six (42%) of 414 pediatric surgeons participated. Vascular surgeons are more likely to operatively manage vascular trauma at all anatomic sites except subclavian artery when compared to pediatric surgeons, regardless of hospital setting (p <0.001). Forty-eight percent of the pediatric trauma medical directors completed their portion of the survey. At FSCHs, 36% did not have a fellowship-trained vascular surgeon on-call schedule, 27% did not have endovascular capabilities, and 18% did not have a radiology technologist always available.

CONCLUSION

Vascular surgeons are more likely to manage pediatric vascular trauma regardless of hospital setting. However, FSCH have fewer resources available to provide optimal care.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE

Care management, level IV.

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