Pediatric Trauma: Six Years of Experience in a Swiss Trauma Center

Pediatr Emerg Care. 2021 Dec 1;37(12):e1133-e1138. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000001925.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to provide an internationally comparable overview of pediatric trauma of the University Hospital of Lausanne to improve the care of children.

Methods: We analyzed the data from all injured children (<16 years of age) listed in our trauma registry from 2011 to 2016. These children were admitted to the resuscitation room after prehospital triage. Our data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.

Results: We included 327 children. Sixty-three percent were male, and the median age was 8 years. Severe trauma (Injury Severity Score (ISS), >15) occurred in 97 children. The principal mechanisms of injury were falls (45%), traffic accidents (29%), and burns (14%). The most frequently affected areas were the head and external body regions. Intensive care admissions amounted to 27%. Twenty percent of patients underwent immediate surgery (wound care, neurosurgery, and orthopedic surgery). The overall mortality rate was 5.5%, with a median ISS of 9. The mortality of severe trauma was 17.5%, with a median ISS of 22. Half of the children died within 6 hours. The main causes of death were falls from greater than 5 m and traffic accidents as pedestrians.

Conclusions: The demographics and patterns of injury in the pediatric trauma population are similar to other European pediatric trauma centers, but the mortality and the severity of injuries can vary (United Kingdom, 3.7%, median ISS of 9; Denmark, 7.3%, median ISS of 9; and Germany, 13.4%, median ISS of 25). The elevated early mortality rate suggests that improvements in prehospital care and early resuscitation could decrease mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Pedestrians*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Switzerland / epidemiology
  • Trauma Centers
  • Wounds and Injuries* / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries* / therapy