The authors performed an analysis of retrospectively obtained data to compare the outcomes of pediatric patients admitted to their institution for traumatic injuries resulting from car, motorcycle, and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) accidents.
The authors conducted a retrospective review of Columbus Children’s Hospital’s Trauma Registry data collected between January 1993 and December 2003. Data obtained in patients admitted with motor vehicle–related injuries were compiled for a total of 1608 patient records. Data regarding sex, age, hospital length of stay (LOS), Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, revised trauma score, injury severity score (ISS), and use of a protective device were analyzed.
Of 1608 patients, 1257 (78%) were injured in automobile accidents, 123 (7.6%) in motorcycle accidents, and 228 (14.2%) in ATV accidents. Injuries sustained in all vehicle types peaked during the summer months. Patients involved in automobile crashes presented with significantly lower GCS scores than those injured in motorcycle and ATV accidents; however, there was no statistically significant difference in LOS among all three injury modalities. Protective devices were underutilized in all three motor vehicle categories but, when used, were associated with significantly higher GCS scores, ISSs, and shorter LOSs among patients admitted after automobile accidents. The correlation of seat belt use with better outcomes underscores the necessity to improve motor vehicle safety education for children, who are less likely to be restrained as they age.