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

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pediatrics

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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.

DOI of Published Version



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

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Archives of pediatrics and adolescent medicine

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Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID