Background: Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism are considered common complications after major trauma. Their incidence and the associated risk factors have rarely been identified in injured children.
Methods: Severely injured children (age <18 years; admitted in a pediatric intensive care unit or length of stay > or = 72 h) with a discharge diagnosis of venous thromboembolism (VTE; deep venous thrombosis and/or pulmonary embolism) were identified from the institutional trauma registry between January 1, 1999 and April 31, 2002. The study centers included a dedicated pediatric trauma center and an adult trauma center with pediatric patients. Risk factors for VTE were identified using multivariate analysis.
Results: VTE was found in 11 of the 3,291 admissions, for a rate of 3.3/1,000 admissions. Children with VTE were older and had higher Injury Severity Scores. Independent risk factors for VTE included thoracic injuries [odds ratio (OR): 6.9; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.4-35.1] and spinal injuries (OR: 37.4; 95% CI: 3.5-396.7). The greatest risk of VTE was in children with central venous catheters (OR: 64.0; 95% CI: 16.8-243.9).
Conclusion: Older children with high Injury Severity Scores, thoracic injuries, spinal injuries or venous catheters are at risk for VTE. Because VTE prophylaxis, screening and treatment are associated with complications and costs, it is essential to identify subgroups of pediatric patients in whom these strategies might be studied.
Copyright 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel