Pediatric Trauma



  • Trauma is the leading cause of death and disability in children >1 yr in the U.S.
  • Most cases of pediatric trauma are minor, single-system injuries
  • The evaluation and management of severely injured children largely mirrors that of adults with special consideration of pediatric injury patterns, key anatomic and physiologic differences, medication dosing, and equipment size


  • Blunt trauma accounts for ∼90% of pediatric injury and can lead to multisystem injuries as force is widely distributed through a child's small body
  • Head injury is most common cause of death
  • Common mechanisms of severe injury include motor vehicle collisions, auto vs. pedestrian, and fall from height
  • Most victims of nonaccidental trauma (NAT) are <3 yr; 1/3 of these being patients <6 mo of age

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