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February 20, 1981

Causes of Morbidity and Mortality in Severe Pediatric Trauma

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs Mayer, Johnson, and Matlak) and Neurosurgery (Dr Walker), Primary Children's Medical Center and the University of Utah College of Medicine, Salt Lake City. Dr Mayer is now with Louise Obici Memorial Hospital, Suffolk, Va.

JAMA. 1981;245(7):719-721. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03310320041023

In a two-year period, we studied 160 patients with multiple trauma (injury to at least two body areas) and graded severity of neurologic injury according to the Glasgow Coma Scale. Injuries to other body areas were categorized by the Modified Injury Severity Scale. Neurologic injury was present in nearly 80% and constituted the most severe injury in 60%. Chest (40%) and extremity (30%) injuries were next most frequently encountered. Overall mortality was 13.8%, with 11.3% disability and 74.3% of patients achieving good recovery. There was some degree of neurologic injury in all patients who died or were disabled. Among all patients with head injuries (126), mortality was 16%, vs 6% in those without head injury (34). Other deaths were caused by chest (9%) or abdominal (14.5%) injuries.

(JAMA 1981;245:719-721)