"Trauma has a far greater impact on minority children than it does on white children," said Jonathan Groner, the study's lead author and a clinical associate professor of surgery at Ohio State University . "As a group, black children tend to have more serious injuries."
Indeed, black children are also two to three times more likely to be admitted to the hospital because of a traumatic injury.
However, when black and white children are admitted to the hospital with equally severe injuries, they have an equal chance of survival, spend about the same amount of time in the hospital, and also have equal access to rehabilitation services.
"Trauma-induced injuries are mainly a problem of prevention, not a problem of treatment," said Groner, who is also the trauma medical director at Columbus Children's Hospital. "Trauma is a disease it can be prevented and it has recognizable risk factors."
The findings are reported in a recent issue of the Journal of the National Medical Association. Groner conducted the study with John Hayes, a statistician with the trauma program at Columbus Children's Hospital.
The study sample included the medical records of 5,973 children who received emergency inpatient treatment at one of six pediatric trauma centers in Ohio . (Trauma centers were located in Columbus , Cleveland , Cincinnati , Dayton , Toledo and Akron .)
The researchers also gathered information from the 2000 U.S. census and from death certificate data from the Ohio Bureau of Vital Statistics. Data were collected for injuries that happened in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Information included the cause of the injury and, in most cases, the zip code where the injury occurred.