According to a new study conducted by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, there were more than 950 cases of traumatic amputations among children aged 17 years and younger in the United States in 2003. Of these cases, finger and thumb amputations accounted for the majority of the injuries (64%).
Data from this study, published in the January issue of The Journal of Trauma, showed that among children 4-years-old and younger, amputations resulting from being caught in or between objects were the most common, and more than 80% of these injuries involved a finger or thumb. These findings are similar to data from another traumatic amputations study conducted at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s and published in Pediatrics in 2005. In that study, the youngest age group (0 to 2 years) had the highest proportion of finger amputations, and these amputations were related to doors.
As the first investigation to examine the national use of health care resources associated with traumatic amputations, the study also found that these injuries resulted in more than $21 million in inpatient charges and 3,900 days of hospitalization annually, say the researchers. Data for the study were obtained from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids’ Inpatient Database.
The Center for Injury Research and Policy works globally to reduce injury-related pediatric death and disabilities. www.injurycenter.org