UMEM Educational Pearls

This study looked at just over 10,000 children using the National Trauma Data Bank between 2011 and 2012. Patients were divided into two age groups: 0 to 14 years and 15 to 18 years. Primary outcomes were emergency department and inpatient mortality depending on whether they were taken to a pediatric versus adult trauma center. Secondary outcomes included hospital length of stay, complication rate, ICU length of stay and ventilator days.

Children in the 0-14 year age group had lower ED and inpatient mortality when treated at pediatric trauma centers. This age group was also more likely to be discharged home and have fewer ICU and ventilator days when treated at the pediatric trauma centers.

There was no difference in ED mortality or inpatient mortality in the 15 to18 year-old age group to pediatric and adult trauma centers. There were no differences in complication rates in any age group between pediatric and adult trauma centers. 
Bottom line: Children aged 0-14 should ideally be evaluated primarily at pediatric trauma centers.


Khalil M, Alawwa G, Pinto F, O'Neill PA. Pediatric Mortality at Pediatric versus Adult Trauma Centers. J Emerg Trauma Shock. 2021 Jul-Sep;14(3):128-135. doi: 10.4103/JETS.JETS_11_20. Epub 2021 Sep 30. PMID: 34759630; PMCID: PMC8527062.