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The impact of adult major trauma centre status on paediatric trauma activity


Objectives The London Trauma Network was launched in April 2010 in order to centralise trauma care in the capital city. The consultation and resourcing of the four new major trauma centres (MTC) was adult focused. The objective of this study was to assess the impact that adult MTC status has on paediatric trauma workload.

Methods A retrospective review of paediatric major trauma calls was performed between 1 April 2009 to 31 January 2010, before MTC status, and the same time period in 2010/11 when St George's Healthcare Trust was a designated adult MTC. The following variables were assessed; number of trauma calls, admissions to hospital, radiological services usage, inpatient stay, mechanism of injury and injury severity score (ISS)—calculated from abbreviated injury score.

Results There was a 200% increase in trauma calls between the two time periods and a 191% increase in admission to hospital. The usage of radiology increased 221% for CT and 161% for plain radiology. Mean inpatient stay decreased by 0.2 days. Mechanisms of injury were similar. Despite becoming a MTC the relative volume of major injuries (ISS>15) decreased between the two time periods by 1% with a relative increase in minor trauma (ISS<5) from 63% to 72%. These results may suggest at present paediatric trauma patients are being over triaged.

Conclusions Major adult trauma centre status has a significant effect on paediatric trauma workload and hence resources. When reconfiguration of trauma services are being considered it is essential to take into account the impact on paediatric services alongside those of the adult population.

  • Trauma
  • paediatric injury

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