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17 Million U.S. Children Live More Than an Hour Away From Trauma Care
Date:6/2/2009

d author of the study and director of the Trauma Program at Children's Hospital. "We need to set up guidelines to help hospitals understand what is required to establish a pediatric trauma center where those centers should be."

The researchers' article appears in the June issue of the journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

The study identified 170 pediatric trauma centers in 40 states and the District of Columbia, which equals about one center for every 358,000 children. The American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma accredits most U.S. trauma centers. The researchers combined that organization's records with the American Trauma Society's list of adult centers designated as "pediatric capable," and the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions' members self-classified as trauma centers.

"The lack of a single national accrediting body or uniform standards for pediatric trauma centers has been an obstacle to understanding the resources that exist for the care of our most severely injured children," said Nance, who added, "A reliable inventory of accredited pediatric trauma centers will allow for expansion of resources into areas currently underserved."

The study did not look at patient outcomes from injury as it relates to access to a center in under an hour. And, although the care delivered to children in an adult-care setting may be adequate, without reliable guidelines, it is impossible to determine if the best care is being provided to the most severely injured children.

Dr. Nance's co-authors, both from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, are Brendan G. Carr, M.D., M.S., from the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Epidemiology; and Charles C. Branas, Ph.D., from the Departments of Biostatistics and Epidemiology. The study was supported in part from the Josephine J. and John M. Templeton, Jr., E
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SOURCE The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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