Previous studies have found that the Injury Prevention Priority Score (IPPS) provides a reliable and valid method to gauge the relative importance of different injury causal mechanisms at individual trauma centers. This study examines its applicability to prioritizing injury mechanisms on a national level and within defined pediatric age groups.
A total of 47,158 patients (age <17) in the National Pediatric Trauma Registry were grouped into common injury mechanisms based on ICD-9 E-Codes. Patients also were stratified by age group. IPPS was calculated for each mechanism and within each age group.
Falls of all types account for the greatest number of injuries (n = 15,042; 32%), whereas child abuse results in the most severe injuries (mean Injury Severity Score, 13.3) However, the most significant mechanisms of injury, according to IPPS, were motor vehicle crashes followed by pedestrian struck by motor vehicles. Certain age groups had specific injury problems including child abuse in infants and assault and gun injuries in adolescents.
IPPS provides an objective, quantitative method for determining injury prevention priorities based on both frequency and severity at the national level. It also is sensitive to age-related changes in different mechanisms of injury.
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