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Centre for Automotive Safety Research
THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE
SA 5005 AUSTRALIA
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Publication Details

TitleHead injuries in infants and children: measures to reduce mortality and morbidity in road accidents
AuthorsSimpson DA, Blumbergs PC, McLean AJ, Scott G
Year1992
TypeJournal Article
AbstractIn the 6-year period from 1983 to 1988, 12 infants (<24 months of age) 103 children (2 to 14 years of age) were killed in road crashes in South AUstralia. This represents an annual incidence of 6.4 deaths per 100,000 children at risk. At least 4 other children were killed in off-road vehicle related accidents. Of these deaths, approximately half were car passengers, one third pedestrians, and one sixth pedal cyclists. Most of these infants and children died at the accident site or soon after, but 26 of them survived long enough to be admitted to hospitals with neurosurgical units and an audit of these patients suggests that there were at least 3 preventable deaths. However, autopsies of 78 patients show that the great majority of these deaths resulted from devastating brain and/or trunk visceral injuries. Better emergency care and the use of neurosurgical retrieval teams may save some lives. But more lives might be saved by the use of appropriate restraints for infants and children in cars, by reducing the exposure of child pedestrians and cyclists to road traffic, and by mandatory use of helmets by child cyclists. Off-road vehicular accidents are not as a rule included in road crash statistics; the practice of giving small motorcycles to young children has created a new category of vehicular accidents sometimes causing severe head injury.
Journal TitleWorld Journal of Surgery
Journal Volume (Issue)16(3)
Page Range403-409
Page Count8
Notesavailable from CASR library on request

Reference
Simpson DA, Blumbergs PC, McLean AJ, Scott G (1992) 'Head injuries in infants and children: measures to reduce mortality and morbidity in road accidents', World Journal of Surgery, 16(3), pp 403-409.