Injuries to children who had preinjury cognitive impairment: a 10-year retrospective review

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pediatrics



Document Type



Adolescent; Adult; Age Distribution; Child; Child, Preschool; Comorbidity; Female; Humans; Infant; Infant, Newborn; Injury Severity Score; Male; Mental Disorders; Retrospective Studies; Sex Distribution; Treatment Outcome; United States; Wounds and Injuries


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Pediatrics


OBJECTIVE: To determine differences between hospitalized injured children who had preinjury cognitive impairments (IMPs) and children who had no preinjury cognitive conditions (NO).

DESIGN: Comparative analysis, excluding fatalities, of patients with IMP (n = 371) with patients with NO (n = 58 745), aged from 0 to 19 years.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Demographics, injury characteristics, injury nature and severity, use of resources, disability, and disposition at discharge from acute care.

DATA SOURCE: Medical records of children injured between January 1, 1989, and December 31, 1998, submitted to the National Pediatric Trauma Registry, Boston, Mass.

RESULTS: Compared with children with NO, children with IMPs were more likely to be boys (72.5% vs 64.3%), to be older (53.1% vs 40.0%, aged 10-19 years), to be victims of child abuse (5.9% vs 1.6%), and to be individuals with self-inflicted injuries (2.2% vs 0.1%). They were more likely to be injured as pedestrians (19.9% vs 13.8%), less likely to be injured in sport activities (2.7% vs 6.9%), and less likely to sustain a penetrating injury (3.8% vs 8.3%). They were more likely to sustain injuries to multiple body regions (57.4% vs 43.7%) and the head (62.0% vs 45.1%), and to be severely injured. They were more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit (52.6% vs 25.2), and their mean length of stay was twice as long (9.9 vs 4.8 days). They were also more likely to develop impairments from the current injury (46.6% vs 41.0%) and more likely to be discharged to a rehabilitation facility (11.1% vs 2.3%). The IMPs became worse in 75 children..

CONCLUSIONS: Preinjury cognitive impairments in a pediatric population had a significant effect on the causes, nature, severity of injury, and outcomes. Targeted prevention programs should consider the characteristics of this population.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003 Apr;157(4):336-40. Link to article on publisher's site

DOI of Published Version


Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

Journal Title

Archives of pediatrics and adolescent medicine

PubMed ID