Even the best trauma centers may not be best for children. A study in the August 2000 issue of the Journal of Trauma found that injured children have significantly higher survival rates (more than twice as high!!!) when treated at pediatric trauma centers rather than at adult level I trauma centers (the most comprehensive trauma centers).
To be designated a pediatric trauma center, a hospital must have full-time availability of pediatric surgeons, pediatric neurosurgeons, pediatric orthopedic surgeons, pediatric emergency physicians, pediatric anesthesiologists and pediatric critical care specialists.
Take home message? Find out before an emergency happens where the nearest pediatric trauma center (often located at a Children’s Hospital or Medical Center) is. If you’re not sure, a friendly phone call to a nearby emergency room should clear things up. Children deserve care that is tailored for them. It can be a matter of life and death.