Emergency management of blunt trauma in children

N Engl J Med. 1991 May 23;324(21):1477-82. doi: 10.1056/NEJM199105233242106.


Apart from the trend to nonoperative treatment of blunt abdominal injuries, based on accurate CT diagnosis, most of the recent and anticipated changes in pediatric trauma are organizational. They include resuscitation and triage before hospitalization, the use of designated trauma centers, resuscitation by trauma teams, noninvasive diagnosis and monitoring, comprehensive pediatric intensive care, the use of objective measures of outcome, and improved rehabilitation programs (Templeton JM: personal communication). The treatment of individual cases is based on simple but well-established principles. The key steps in management are to recognize children with life-threatening injuries (on the basis of the mechanism of injury or a Pediatric Trauma Score less than or equal to 8 or a Revised Trauma Score less than or equal to 11), to support the function of vital organs by establishing and maintaining adequate respiratory gas exchange and circulation, and to identify all important injuries by thorough and ongoing assessment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Emergencies
  • Humans
  • Trauma Severity Indices
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / therapy*