Philadelphia, Pa. - Injured children who receive care at trauma centers certified to treat children have better survival rates than children treated at adult trauma centers, according to a recent Pennsylvania study. The better outcomes, said the researchers, may occur because pediatric trauma centers provide care specifically tailored to children, rather than following medical practices designed for adults.
The study of 13,000 injured children, conducted by trauma teams at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, was published in the August issue of the Journal of Trauma. "Parents should find out in advance where the nearest certified pediatric trauma center is located, and request prompt transfer there if their child is injured," said Perry W. Stafford, M.D., director of the Trauma Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and a co-author of the study. "This research underscores the importance of the having standards of care that are geared to the special needs of injured children."
Using information collected by the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation, an accrediting agency for trauma centers, the researchers analyzed records of more than 13,000 injured children seen in 26 hospital-based trauma centers. Two of the centers were pediatric trauma centers (The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh), five were adult trauma centers with added qualifications in pediatrics, and the remaining 19 were adult trauma centers.
To be accredited as a pediatric trauma center, a hospital must have comprehensive pediatric services that include full-time availability of pediatric surgeons, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, emergency physicians, pediatric anesthesiologists and critical care specialists.
The researchers found that, overall, children treated at pediatric trauma centers or at the adult centers with added pediatric qualifications had significantly better ou
Contact: Maria Stearns
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia