Background/purpose The utility of EDT in the adult trauma population, using well-defined guidelines, is well established, especially for penetrating injuries. Since the introduction of these guidelines, reports on the use of EDT for pediatric trauma have been published, and these series reveal a dismal, almost universally fatal, outcome for EDT following blunt trauma in the child. This report reviews the clinical outcomes of EDT in the pediatric population. Materials/methods We performed a review of EDT in the pediatric population using the published data from 1980 to 2017. Variables extracted included mechanism of injury and mortality. To minimize bias, single case reports were not included in the review. Results Upon review of four decades of published literature on the use of emergency department thoracotomy (EDT) in the pediatric population, mortality rates are comparable between adults and pediatric patients for penetrating thoracic trauma. In contrast, in pediatric patients sustaining blunt trauma, no patient under the age of 15 has survived. Conclusion In patients between 0 and 14 years of age presenting with no signs of life following blunt trauma, withholding EDT should be considered. Patients between the ages of 15 and 18 should be treated in accordance with adult ATLS prin- ciples
Pediatric Surgery International – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 6, 2018
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