John A Craven, BSc(Hons), BMBS, Paediatric Emergency Registrar.
Paediatric and adolescent horse-related injuries: Does the mechanism of injury justify a trauma response?
Article first published online: 30 JUL 2008
© 2008 The Author. Journal compilation © 2008 Australasian College for Emergency Medicine and Australasian Society for Emergency Medicine
Emergency Medicine Australasia
Volume 20, Issue 4, pages 357–362, August 2008
How to Cite
Craven, J. A. (2008), Paediatric and adolescent horse-related injuries: Does the mechanism of injury justify a trauma response?. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 20: 357–362. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-6723.2008.01107.x
- Issue published online: 30 JUL 2008
- Article first published online: 30 JUL 2008
- Accepted 27 March 2008
Objective: To identify the frequency, variety and disposition of horse-related injury presentations to the ED and to use this information to evaluate the existing institutional trauma team activation criteria following horse-related injuries.
Methods: A retrospective case analysis was performed of all horse-related injury presentations to the ED of Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide, Australia, in the 5 year period between January 1999 and December 2003.
Results: A total of 186 children presented with horse-related injuries during the 5 year study period. The median age of injury was 9 years (range 1–17 years), with 81% of presentations female and 60% of patients hospitalized. The mechanism of injury was divided into four groups: 148 falls (79%), 28 kicks (15%), 7 tramples (4%) and 5 bites (3%). There was one death. Seven presentations rated an Injury Severity Score >15, with full trauma team activation occurring for two of these presentations.
Conclusion: Although horse-related injury presentations are uncommon, severe injuries do occur. Patients presenting with severe horse-related injuries do not always activate a full trauma team response based on current trauma team activation criteria. These severe injury presentations are supported by a limited trauma team response, which activates on the mechanism of injury. The effectiveness of this as a contingency system needs to be evaluated.