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Trends In Pediatric Emergency Department Visits for Motor Vehicle Traffic Accidents

Monday, October 22, 2012: 2:00 PM
Versailles Ballroom (Hilton Riverside)
Min Kyeong Lee, DMD1, Ingrid M. Anderson, MD2, Veerasathpurush Allareddy, BDS, MBA, PhD3 and Veerajalandhar Allareddy, MD, MBA2, (1)Department of Developmental Biology, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA, (2)Pediatric Critical Care and Pharmacology, University Hospitals, Rainbow Babies Children's Hospital., Cleveland, OH, (3)Dental Medicine, Harvard University, Boston, MA

Purpose Close to 11 million motor vehicle traffic (MVT) accidents occur each year. The purpose of this study is to provide nationally representative estimates of children visiting hospital based emergency departments (ED) for MTV accidents in the United States from 2006 to 2009. 

Methods The Nationwide Emergency Department Sample datasets for the years 2006-2009 were used. All pediatric (age ≤ 17 years) ED visits with external cause for injury ICD-9-CM diagnostic codes for MVT accidents were selected. Outcomes examined included discharge status following the ED visit and presence of concomitant injuries. Descriptive statistics was used to summarize the estimates. Nationwide representative estimates were computed using the discharge weight variable. 

Results A total of 2,038,391 pediatric ED visits were attributed to MVT accidents in the United States in 2006-2009. The number of MVT accidents decreased over the four-year period, from 556,225 in 2006 to 475,792 in 2009. Of the total, 5.4% were admitted into the same hospitals as inpatients, and the percentage of the same-hospital admission decreased steadily over the study period. Children less than 1 year of age accounted for 3.3% of all the pediatric ED visits for MVT accidents.

Conclusion Findings from this study illustrate the burden associated with pediatric ED visits due to MVT accidents. In accordance with the national trend, the total number of pediatric ED visits as well as the percentage of the ED visits leading to hospitalization decreased during the period 2006-2009.