Children in Denmark live a safe life. The incidence of severe injuries in children is low. However, the epidemiology of children admitted to Danish trauma centres with severe and potentially life threatening lesions is largely unknown.
To describe the epidemiology and mortality of severely injured children admitted a Danish trauma centre.
A descriptive study including all children aged 0–15 years with severe injuries (ISS>15) admitted to the university level trauma centre at Odense University Hospital 2002–2016. Data was extracted from the multiple trauma register and medical records. Data analyses were made stratified by gender and age groups (0–4 years, 5–10 years, and 11–15 years).
136 children were included (57% boys). The median age was 10 (0–15) years. Accidents accounted for 98%. Traffic related injuries accounted for 23% of the injuries in the youngest age group (0–4 years) and 58% in the oldest (11–15 years). In the youngest age group 58% the injuries occured in domestic areas and 10% in the oldest age group. The 136 children had 470 lesions. Overall 46% of the lesions involved the head, face or neck, 24% involved chest or abdomen, whereas only 22% involved the limbs and 4% the spine. The median ISS was 25 (16–81) with no differences between age groups. Altogether, 29 (27%) children died due to their lesions. The mortality was 29% among the youngest (0–4 years), 15% in the middle age group (5–10 years), and 27% among the oldest (11–15 years).
Although, the youngest and oldest children have equal mortalities the epidemiology is different. Young children are most frequently severely injured in non-traffic accident in domestic areas, whereas old children most frequently are severely injured in the traffic.
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