Pediatric Trauma

Pediatric Trauma is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • Pathophysiology and anatomy of adolescents and young adults are similar.
  • 80% of pediatric trauma is blunt; 80% of multisystem trauma includes head injury.
  • Trauma is the leading cause of death and disability in children >1 yr in US and Europe.
  • Most victims of child abuse are <3 yr. 1/3 of these patients are <6 mo.


  • Most cases of pediatric trauma are single-system, minor, blunt injuries.
  • Common mechanisms of injury include motor vehicle collisions and bicycle accidents, struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian, and fall from height.
  • Penetrating injuries are rare in younger children.
  • Risk factors include inadequate supervision, developmental inadequacy of child to perform task, inadequate attention to task, risk taking, drugs, and alcohol.

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