Assessment of the pediatric trauma patient: differences in approach
Traumatic injury remains the most frequent cause of death for a child in the United States. Each year over 10,000 children die as the result of both unintentional and non-accidental injuries. Many more suffer long-term and permanent disabilities resulting in billions of dollars in healthcare needs and lost ability to become an independent productive member of society. Children are not small adults, and pediatric trauma differs from adult trauma with regard to epidemiology, etiology, patterns of injury, anatomy, physiology, assessment, and choice of therapy. Assessment of injured children must follow Advanced Trauma Life Support® guidelines, and providers must be prepared for differences from adults.