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Pediatric emergency department care of children injured by motor vehicles: report of a series of 134 cases

Torre Monmany N, Panzino Occhiuzzo F, Trenchs Sainz De La Maza V, Luaces I Cubells C

Servicio de Urgencias. Hospital Sant Joan de Déu. Barcelona, Spain.

We describe the type of injuries our hospital’s pediatric emergency department treats
in children run over by motor vehicles, estimate morbidity and mortality, and to assess
the utility of information recorded in the department. This was a retrospective
descriptive study of patients under the age of 18 years who were treated between
February 2005 and June 2006. Of the 134 patients (ratio of boys to girls, 1.6:1;
median age, 8.8 years), 94.1% were run over by cars in the city ; 32.1% of the
accidents occurred in summer and 45.8% occurred between the hours of 5:00 and
8:00 P.M. Ninety-seven percent of the children sustained injuries; 91% of the injuries
were not serious. The injuries were located on the extremities (70.1%) and head
(37%); 67.2% were contusions and 34.3% were brain injuries. The department
admitted 23.9% of the children; mortality was 1.5%. Information recorded by the
emergency department helped define the profile of injuries of this type that can be
expected. Injuries are often near vital structures. We conclude that it would be
justifiable to reinforce prevention in the summertime as well as after school and
working hours.

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