Is the golden hour optimally used in South Africa for children presenting with polytrauma?

S Afr Med J. 2013 Jan 23;103(3):166-7. doi: 10.7196/samj.6402.


Background: The major paediatric public health problem worldwide is injury or trauma. In 2004, 950 000 children died as a result of injury.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the logistics of medical care after paediatric polytrauma within the first hours after arrival into a trauma unit - the so-called Golden Hour.

Methods: Children presenting with polytrauma to the Trauma Unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital between May 2011 and August 2011 were considered for inclusion in the study.

Results: Fifty-five children were included in the final analysis. The median duration of stay in the Trauma Unit was 205 minutes (interquartile range 135 - 274).

Conclusion: Several factors were identified that unnecessarily prolonged the time that patients stayed in the trauma unit following arrival in hospital for polytrauma management.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Burns* / complications
  • Burns* / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Pediatric / standards
  • Hospitals, Pediatric / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Multiple Trauma* / classification
  • Multiple Trauma* / epidemiology
  • Multiple Trauma* / etiology
  • Multiple Trauma* / therapy
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Retrospective Studies
  • South Africa / epidemiology
  • Time-to-Treatment* / standards
  • Time-to-Treatment* / statistics & numerical data
  • Trauma Centers / standards
  • Trauma Centers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Trauma Severity Indices