The Perth Children’s Hospital Trauma Unit sees many children attending each year with serious injuries. Children who are classified to have severe injuries are admitted directly to the Trauma Unit and bypass the Emergency Department.
The data set is from January 2021 – June 2021, where 52 children were directly admitted to the PCH Trauma Unit.
During this period, burns and scald injuries appeared most frequently. The majority of known locations occurred within the home/farm setting (42.3%, n=22) and then followed by school/residential institution (11.5%, n=6).
The majority of injury causes presenting to the PCH Trauma Unit are due to unintentional circumstances. Intentional self-harm injuries were represented significantly lower across all injury presentations.
Top 3 injury causes
The top three injury causes were from burns and scalds (40.4%, n=21), followed by blunt force (25%, n=13) and falls (7.7%, n=4). Burn and scald injuries caused by contact with hot liquid or steam represented the majority of burn and scald presentations (76.2%, n=16). Blunt force injuries caused by sports activities represented 61.5% (n=8) of all blunt force injury presentations to the PCH Trauma Unit. Fall injuries that presented to PCH Trauma Unit occurred to children under the age of five years old with the home being the highest represented injury location.
Area of residence
Children residing in the Perth Metropolitan Area account for 71.2% (n=37) of all injury presentations to the PCH Trauma Unit. Children living in rural Western Australia account for 26.9% (n=13), with the remainder consisting of children who had their place of residence listed as unknown. Of Aboriginal children presenting to PCH Trauma Unit with an injury, 45.5% (n=5) reside in a rural or remote location in Western Australia.
Most children who present to PCH Trauma Unit for an injury are referred by another hospital (71.2%, n=37). The remaining presentations are either referred by themselves or a relative (21.2%, n=11) or General Practitioner (3.8%, n=2). A small proportion did not have a listed referral source for attending the PCH Trauma Unit.
Children under the age of five years old are at greater risk of injury compared to other age groups accounting for (42.3%, n=22) of all injury presentations to the PCH Trauma Unit. Children who were listed in the age group of 10 years to 13 years old were the second-highest presenting age group (28.8%, n=15) followed by children 5 years to 9 years old (19.2%, n=10) and children aged 14+ (9.6%, n=5).
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