Epidemiology of rural traumatic death in children: a population-based study

J Trauma. 1995 Jun;38(6):867-70. doi: 10.1097/00005373-199506000-00006.


To determine the epidemiology of traumatic death in pediatric patients in a rural state, we reviewed all deaths caused by injury in victims < 19 years old between 1985 and 1990. We hypothesized that mortality would be higher than equivalent populations in urban areas. During the study period, 5,322 children were hospitalized for trauma (14% of total admissions for children in the state) and 36 died (0.67%). For this subgroup, head injury was the most common cause of death (72%). When compared with data from the National Pediatric Trauma Registry from urban centers, the mortality rate for hospitalized children in this rural state was lower (0.67% vs. 2.7%, p < 0.001). On review of the population-based statistics for the entire state, we found that these numbers were deceivingly low. In all, 731 children died during the study period, of which 283 were determined by autopsy or coroner's report to have died of trauma (38.7%). Eighty-seven percent of children who died never reached the hospital. Mortality (age-adjusted) was highest in the 15- to 18-year-olds (68.5 of 100,000), then < 1-year-old (26.8 of 100,000), 1- to 5-year-olds (15.6 of 100,000), and 5- to 14-year-olds (11.8 of 100,000), which significantly exceeds the predicted national averages for these age groups.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / epidemiology
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / mortality
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Rural Health*
  • Vermont / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality*