Predicting Cervical Spine Injury (CSI) in Children

Cervical spine injuries (CSI) are serious, but rare events in children. Immobilization of children with CSI in the out-of-hospital setting may be beneficial, but is poorly studied. In contrast, immobilization for transport of pediatric trauma patients without CSI is common and known to be associated with adverse effects. As a result, more than 99% of immobilized children have no CSI and are exposed to harm with no demonstrable benefit. The purpose of this study is to identify a set of variables that separate injured children with negligible risk of CSI from those at non-negligible risk for CSI. Specifically, project goals are to describe CSI and to identify factors associated with increased risk for CSI among a diverse pediatric blunt trauma population. This retrospective study concluded data collection at the end of 2007. Several abstracts have been presented in 2008 and 2009 at national meetings. The main manuscript has been published.