Serious injury kills nearly 10,000 children1 in America each year, more than all other causes combined. That means 26 children will die from pediatric trauma today in the U.S. Thousands more injured children survive but require extensive medical treatment and are left with a disability.
Pediatric trauma is serious injury to kids requiring hospitalization and care. There are many causes of serious injuries, such as a car wreck, fall, fire, bike accident, drowning, sports injury or just being a kid and playing. Trauma strikes suddenly and there’s no time to travel long distances for care.
Prevention is very important, but kids will be kids and accidents still happen. Most of us think everything is in place to give our kids the best care when they are injured. Unfortunately, not all healthcare professionals are trained and ready for these “accidents.” Once a child is seriously injured they require specialized knowledge and training…all while a child’s life hangs in the balance.
Is the system ready to save an injured child?
Kids need age-specific expertise and equipment. Survival is increased 25 percent when children are treated at a pediatric trauma center because it has a full range of specialists and equipment available 24 hours a day. Yet only 10 percent of injured children are treated at pediatric trauma centers and only 50 percent of injured children are treated at any type of trauma center. More children die when they are treated in rural areas without access to trauma centers and specialized care.2
Even in the U.S., where we have access to excellent care, there are many ways to improve medical treatment for injured kids. We can save lives and improve care with more:
The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma will be the focal point of a national movement to improve the level of pediatric trauma care available across the country.
Nothing compares to saving the life of a child. There’s no greater return on investment we can make as a society. When you save a child, you save a childhood, a family, a future. We can measure the individual and global expense of treating an injury but the life impact can’t be measured. We should be ready and able to save a child when injury threatens their life, no matter where we live.
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