Background: Injury prevention programs should be based on objective injury data. This study demonstrates how local injury data can be used to help guide injury prevention programs.
Methods: We reviewed trauma registry data (2004-2006) from a Level I pediatric trauma center. Data included demographic information, anatomic location of injury, mechanism of injury, safety device utilization, Injury Severity Score (ISS), and temporal and geographic variables. The Injury Prevention Priority Score for each mechanism of injury was calculated.
Results: There were 1,874 trauma patients. Most admissions were among white males, aged 11 years to 15 years (mean, 7.9 years ± 5.2 years). Most admissions occurred during summertime and on weekend evenings. Blunt injuries (92%) and fractures (56%) predominated (mean ISS, 5.9). A severe ISS >15 was highest among 11 year to 15 year and lowest among patients older than 15 years (p < 0.01). Falls, cut, or pierce, ATV, and off-road motorcycle ranked highest in the Injury Prevention Priority Score. Of the 134 motor vehicle occupants, 52% (n = 70) were restrained in car seats/seat belts. Only 15% of bicyclists, 24% of motorcyclists, and 58% of ATV riders wore helmets.
Conclusion: A significant percentage of injured children and adolescents were not using proven effective injury prevention devices at the time of their injury. These data identified areas for further study and will help guide community injury prevention programs at our institution.