Children are the most vulnerable sub-population in mass casualty events (MCEs), however, characteristics of MCE related injuries among children have not been well described. The aim of our study was to characterize childhood injuries resulting from MCEs in Israel including parameters such as magnitude, injury mechanism and severity and use of hospital resources. We conducted a descriptive study of MCE related injuries among hospitalized children (0-17 years) between the years 1998-2007 and recorded in the Israel Trauma Registry (ITR). The main outcome measures included: body region, injury severity (ISS) and mortality rates. A total of 267 children (mean age 11.3 years, 52% girls) were hospitalized for injuries caused by 75 (47%) of the 158 MCEs recorded during the study period. The mechanisms of MCE related injury were as follows: terror-related (63%); motor vehicle collision (buses or train) (32%); a collapsed building (3%); and other mechanisms (2%). Injuries among teenagers (ages 10-17 years) were twice as high as those of younger children [ages 0-9 years), (67% and 33%, respectively (p < 0.05). Head and neck (67%) were the most common body regions to be injured, followed by upper and Lower extremities (62%). Most children sustained mild injuries (55% ISS 1-8), however, a significant percentage had severe to fatal injuries (29% ISS > or =16). Severe injuries were significantly more frequent among children injured in MCEs compared to non-MCE injuries: ISS 16 (29% vs. 8%, respectively p < 0.0001), in-hospital mortaLity (3.4% vs. 0.4%, respectively, p < 0.0001), underwent surgical procedures (50% vs. 20%, respectively, p < 0.05), ICU admission rate (31% vs. 6%, p < 0.0001), and longer hospital stay (median LOS 8.9 vs. 3.5 days, respectively p < 0.0001). Morbidity and mortality are significantly higher among children who are injured in MCEs than by other mechanisms. Improved pediatric pre-hospital care and hospital resources as well may enhance future pediatric MCE-related injury outcomes.
|Pages (from-to)||422-426, 482|
|State||Published - Jul 2010|