• Epidemiology of abusive abdominal trauma hospitalizations in United States children

      Lane, W.G.; Dubowitz, H.; Langenberg, P.; Dischinger, P. (Elsevier, 2012)
      Objectives: (1) To estimate the incidence of abusive abdominal trauma (AAT) hospitalizations among US children age 0-9 years. (2) To identify demographic characteristics of children at highest risk for AAT. Design: Secondary data analysis of a cross-sectional, national hospitalization database. Setting: Hospitalization data from the 2003 and 2006 Kids' Inpatient Database (KID). Main exposure: Frequency and rate of hospitalizations for abusive abdominal trauma as identified by ICD-9CM codes for abdominal trauma and child abuse and E-codes for inflicted injury. Outcome measures: Hospitalization rates by age, insurance status, and frequency of specific organ injury. Results: AAT rates were higher for infants than for any other age group, with 17.7 (95% CI 11.7-23.9) cases per million in 2006. More than 25% of all abdominal trauma in children <1 year of age was abusive. For all age groups, rates were higher for males than females, and for children insured by Medicaid compared to those with private insurance. Organs most commonly injured were the liver (64% of hospitalizations), kidney (19%), and stomach/intestines (12%). Conclusions: Although experts have considered toddlers to be at highest risk for AAT, infants have higher rates of AAT hospitalization. Similar to other abusive injuries, young age, male gender, and poverty are risk factors for AAT. Copyright 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
    • Outcomes for children hospitalized with abusive versus noninflicted abdominal trauma

      Lane, W.G.; Lotwin, I.; Dubowitz, H.; Langenberg, P.; Dischinger, P. (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011)
      BACKGROUND: Abusive abdominal trauma (AAT) is the second leading cause of child abuse mortality. Previous outcome studies have been limited to data from trauma centers. OBJECTIVES: The goals of this study were (1) to examine mortality, length of hospitalization, and hospital charges among a national sample of children hospitalized for AAT; and (2) to compare these outcomes with children with noninflicted abdominal trauma. METHODS: Hospitalization data for children aged 0 to 9 years were obtained from the 2003 and 2006 Kids' Inpatient Database. Cases were identified using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification and external cause of injury codes. Multivariable regression analyses were used to compare outcomes of children with AAT versus those with noninflicted injury. RESULTS: Children with AAT were younger, and more often insured by Medicaid. Among children surviving to discharge, those with AAT had longer hospitalizations (adjusted mean [95% confidence interval (CI)] length of stay: 7.9 (6.6 -9.3) vs 6.4 (6.1-6.7) days, P < .01) and higher charges (adjusted mean [95% CI] costs: $24 343 [$20 952-$28 567] vs $19 341 [$18 770-$20 131]; P < .01). Among children aged 1 to 9 years, those with AAT had higher mortality (adjusted rate [95% CI]: 9.2% [5.0%-16.1%] vs 2.7% [2.2%-3.2%], P < .01). There was no significant difference in mortality for children aged younger than 1 year. CONCLUSIONS: Children hospitalized for AAT generally had poorer short-term outcomes compared with children with noninflicted abdominal trauma. Studies to explain these differences are needed. In addition, efforts to prevent these injuries and to assist families at risk should be supported. Copyright 2011 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
    • Screening for occult abdominal trauma in children with suspected physical abuse

      Lane, W.G.; Dubowitz, H.; Langenberg, P. (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009)
      OBJECTIVES: The goals were (1) to determine the prevalence of occult abdominal trauma (OAT) in a sample of children with suspected physical abuse, (2) to assess the frequency of OAT screening, and (3) to assess factors associated with screening. METHODS: Charts of children evaluated for abusive injury were identified through a search of hospital discharge codes. Identified charts were reviewed to determine whether OAT screening occurred. Data on results of screening tests, abusive injuries identified, family demographic features, and characteristics of the emergency department visit were collected. RESULTS: Screening occurred for 51 (20%) of 244 eligible children. Positive results were identified for 41% of those screened and 9% of the total sample; 5% of children 12 to 23 months of age had OAT identified through imaging studies. Screening occurred more often in children presenting with probable abusive head trauma (odds ratio [OR]: 20.4 [95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.6-114.6]; P < .01), compared with those presenting with other injuries. Consultation with the child protection team (OR: 8.5 [95% CI: 3.5-20.7]; P < .01) and other subspecialists (OR: 24.3 [95% CI: 7.1-83.3]; P < .01) also increased the likelihood that OAT screening would occur. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support OAT screening with liver and pancreatic enzyme measurements for physically abused children. This study also supports the importance of subspecialty input, especially that of a child protection team. Although many identified injuries may not require treatment, their role in confirming or demonstrating increased severity of maltreatment may be critical. Copyright 2009 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.