Motor vehicle accidents reported as most common cause of pediatric spinal fractures
Published results showed more than half of pediatric spinal fractures occurred in adolescents aged 15 to 17 years, with motor vehicle accidents reported as the most common mechanism of injury.
Researchers analyzed patient demographics, mechanism of injury, geographical and anatomical region of injury, concomitant musculoskeletal/organ injury, protective device usage, hospital length of stay, surgical procedures and mortality among 34,563 patients younger than age 18 years who experienced 45,430 vertebral fractures between 2009 and 2014. Where protective device use data were available, researchers performed a sub-analysis of patients in motor vehicle accidents.
Results showed 63.1% of vertebral fractures occurred in patients aged 15 to 17 years, with motor vehicle accidents reported as the most frequent mechanism of injury at 66.8% and the South reported as the most common geographic location at 38%. Researchers found male patients sustained more spine fractures both overall and in motor vehicle accidents compared with female patients. Researchers also noted patients in motor vehicle accidents had a lower odds of cranial and thoracic organ injury, multi-vertebral and concomitant non-vertebral fractures, as well as a 21% lower odds of mortality if they were wearing a seatbelt. According to results, more than 70% of drivers were not restrained during a motor vehicle accident, with most seatbelt violations incurred by adolescent males aged 15 to 17 years in the South.
“Findings of this study suggest more is required to improve seatbelt compliance,” the authors wrote. “A targeted approach utilizing technology and media awareness campaigns may expand seatbelt usage and decrease incidence of motor vehicle-related injuries.”