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New triage tool helps children in motor vehicle crashes get the right care

In this new study, emergency physicians developed a triage tool that will help out-of-hospital providers, like paramedics and EMTs, accurately and easily identify the severity of a childs injuries at the scene of a motor vehicle crash potentially reducing death and disability for these children. (Use of Out-of-Hospital Variables to Predict Severity of Injury in Pediatric Patients Involved in Motor Vehicle Crashes)

Many EMS systems simply use existing adult triage criteria for children, said Craig D. Newgard, MD, MPH, of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif., and lead author of the study. But this is very problematic because significant differences exist between children and adults in physiology, anatomy and the biomechanics of traumatic injury. Given the lack of effective triage tools being used, many children with traumatic injuries are often under-triaged.

In the largest pediatric motor vehicle study to date, researchers were able to develop a decision tree combining both the cause of injury with physical signs and symptoms. It will allow out-of-hospital providers to determine the appropriate type and level of care a child needs both quickly and accurately at the scene of an accident.


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Contact: Colleen Horn
chorn@acep.org
202-728-0610
American College of Emergency Physicians
3-May-2002


Page: 1

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