Access Matters: MCW Researcher to Study Traumatic Injury Outcomes in Children

Aug. 27, 2013

The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) has received a two year, $168,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to study how proximity to a pediatric trauma center impacts outcomes in children with traumatic injuries.

Laura Cassidy, MS, PhD, associate professor in the Institute for Health and Society at MCW, is the principal investigator of the grant.

Traumatic injury is a significant threat to children, having a higher mortality rate than all other causes of death combined. However, only a small proportion of acute care hospitals are characterized as trauma centers, and even fewer are pediatric trauma centers , which means many injured children receive care in centers that lack trauma center designation and may not report trauma-related data. That leads to a significant knowledge gap about the outcomes of injured children.

In this project, Dr. Cassidy will analyze data from the Ohio Trauma Registry, which captures data from approximately 87% of Ohio hospitals, including 138 non-trauma centers. Pediatric patients treated at non designated trauma centers will be compared to those transferred directly to a designated trauma center.

An important goal of this project is to add to the existing knowledge base of health disparities in pediatric trauma care delivery, especially in rural areas. Data will be analyzed to quantify the magnitude and scope of this health disparity. This analysis will provide valuable information on pediatric patients treated at non designated trauma centers and in the surrounding rural regions. This will help to identify areas for more efficient resource allocation for this vulnerable population.

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