Back to Annual Meeting
Back to Annual Meeting
APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Lack of access to pediatric trauma care: A panel discussion on a public health crisis

Debra Brown, RN, Trauma Service, Children's Medical Center Dallas, 1935 Motor Street, Dallas, TX 75235, 214-456-8160, debra.brown@childrens.com

Injury is the leading cause of mortality and long-term morbidity in the pediatric population. Severely injured children need expert, specialized trauma care. Access, however, to these top-tiered pediatric trauma facilities is tremendously limited. Few children's hospitals in the United States have undergone the rigorous process of trauma center designation. There are only fourteen free standing pediatric facilities in the country that have attained the highest level of designation (level I), severely limiting injured pediatric patient's access to this quality care.

Trauma center designation requires, from the hospital administration and medical staff, significant resources, and a commitment to a continuous process improvement program. Most pediatric hospitals do not pursue trauma center designation because of large upfront costs in establishing the program, perceived lack of financial incentive and misconceptions about the nature of the pediatric trauma population. It is our experience that the benefits far outweigh the costs.

Pediatric trauma center designation and its impact will be examined by a panel of four experts; a trauma surgeon, a hospital administrator, the director of a state trauma system and an injury prevention specialist, all with different priorities and vantage points. The panel members will share their perspectives on how the pediatric trauma center designation process; improves patient outcomes, has a positive financial and public relations benefits to the hospital, enhances the state trauma system, improves access to quality health care and provide opportunity to incorporate the science of public health and advocacy into a hospital's trauma program.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Health Care Access, EMS/Trauma

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

Systems of Care for Pediatric Trauma: Issues and Experiences

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA