Memphis, Tenn. Children continue to account for a disproportionate percentage of morbidity and mortality from ATV-related accidents up 240 percent since 1997, according to a Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics report published by pediatric orthopaedic surgeons at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital.
The surgeons who studied data from the Kids' Inpatient Database found spine-related injuries from all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in the United States are more common in older children and in females, unlike males in most trauma studies. ATV-related spine injuries in children and adolescents are high-energy injuries with a high rate of associated spine and non-spine injuries.
With increases in use and power of ATVs, there have been dramatic increases in both the number and severity of ATV-related injuries. The Kids' Inpatient Database (KID), a national database that is part of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), showed a 240 percent increase in the number of children admitted to a hospital for an ATV-related injury between 1997 and 2006. During the same time period, there was a 476 percent increase in the number of children with ATV-related spine injuries.
"We want to encourage physicians to be aware of the potential for associated injuries, including abdominal trauma, thoracic trauma, closed head injury, other spinal fracture, appendicular skeletal fracture, or neurologic injury. Of special interest was the frequency of noncontiguous spinal fracture because a second spinal injury may be missed because it is in a separate region of the spine as the first injury," said Jeffrey R. Sawyer, M.D., Associate Professor, The University of Tennessee-Campbell Clinic Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Sawyer is a spokesperson on ATV injuries for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
In another study, Sawyer and his colleagues William C. Warner Jr., M.D., Derek Kelly, M.D. reviewed 53 spine injuries in 29 childre
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Le Bonheur Children's Hospital