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50 Characteristics of paediatric trauma patients attended by emergency medical services in victoria, australia
  1. Renee Roggenkamp1,
  2. Shelley Cox1,2,
  3. Emily Andrew1,2,
  4. Stephen Bernard1,2,3,
  5. Karen Smith1,2,4
  1. 1Centre for Research and Evaluation, Ambulance Victoria, Victoria
  2. 2Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Victoria
  3. 3Intensive Care Unit, The Alfred Hospital, Victoria
  4. 4Department of Community Emergency Health and Paramedic Practice, Monash University, Victoria


Aim Few studies have described the epidemiological profile of paediatric trauma patients attended by emergency medical services (EMS). This study describes the characteristics of paediatric trauma patients attended by EMS in Victoria, Australia.

Method A retrospective review was conducted of all paediatric trauma patients (≤15 years) attended by EMS in Victoria, Australia between 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2017. Descriptive analyses were conducted.

Results Paediatric trauma patients represented 2.2% of the EMS emergency caseload during the study period. Most patients were male (59.9%), and the median age was 8 years. The most common final paramedic diagnoses were pain (21.4%), lacerations (14.1%) and fractures (12.5%). Falls, sporting injuries and traffic-related trauma were the most common mechanisms of injury. The majority of patients were transported to hospital (69.5%) and 55.9% received clinical treatment by paramedics. A total of 19.3% of patients were transported to the paediatric major trauma facility in Victoria. Analgesia was administered to 57.9% of treated patients, with administration increasing with age. A splint was applied most commonly to patients aged 5 to 12 years, and spinal immobilisation was most commonly used in patients aged 13 to 15 years. Patients aged ≤4 years had the highest proportion of patients with an initial pain score of 0 (49.5%), indicating no pain.

Conclusion The characteristics of paediatric trauma patients differ according to age. Pain, lacerations and fractures are the most common reasons for EMS attendance. Understanding the characteristics of paediatric trauma patients may assist in refining protocols to improve patient outcomes.

Conflict of interest None

Funding None

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