Pediatric Surgery International

, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 635–639 | Cite as

Implications of non-accidental trauma on resource utilization and outcomes

  • Cristen N. Litz
  • Ernest K. Amankwah
  • Paul D. Danielson
  • Nicole M. Chandler
Original Article



The purpose was to compare the resource utilization and outcomes between patients with suspected (SUSP) and confirmed (CONF) non-accidental trauma (NAT).


The institutional trauma registry was reviewed for patients aged 0–18 years presenting from 2007 to 2012 with a diagnosis of suspicion for NAT. Patients with suspected and confirmed NAT were compared.


There were 281 patients included. CONF presented with a higher heart rate (142 ± 27 vs 128 ± 23 bpm, p < 0.01), lower systolic blood pressure (100 ± 18 vs 105 ± 16 mm Hg, p = 0.03), and higher Injury Severity Score (15 ± 11 vs 9 ± 5, p < 0.01). SUSP received fewer consultations (1.6 ± 0.7 vs 2.4 ± 1.1, 95% CI − 0.58 to − 0.09, p < 0.01) and had a shorter length of stay (1.6 ± 1.3 vs 7.8 ± 9.8 days, 95% CI − 4.58 to − 0.72, p < 0.01). SUSP were more often discharged home (OR 94.22, 95% CI: 21.26–417.476, p < 0.01). CONF had a higher mortality rate (8.2 vs 0%, p < 0.01).


Patients with confirmed NAT present with more severe injuries and require more hospital resources compared to patients in whom NAT is suspected and ruled out.


Pediatric Non-accidental trauma Child abuse 



This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

For this type of study formal consent is not required. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristen N. Litz
    • 1
  • Ernest K. Amankwah
    • 2
  • Paul D. Danielson
    • 1
  • Nicole M. Chandler
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Pediatric Surgery, Outpatient Care CenterJohns Hopkins All Children’s HospitalSaint PetersburgUSA
  2. 2.Clinical and Translational Research Organization, Outpatient Care CenterJohns Hopkins All Children’s HospitalSaint PetersburgUSA

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