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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Journal of Surgical Research Volume 163, Issue 2, October 2010, Pages 323-326. The published version is available at DOI: 10.1016/j.jss.2010.03.073. Copyright © Elsevier Inc..


BACKGROUND: Roadside pedestrian injuries represent a significant portion of trauma team activations, especially at urban trauma centers. Patient demographics and severity of injury vary greatly in this patient population. Herein, we hypothesize that injury patterns may be predictable, especially with respect to age.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: All patients with roadside pedestrian injuries evaluated at our urban, level one trauma center from January 2006 through December 2008 were retrospectively reviewed. Data were collected from the institutional trauma registry. Age was used as an independent variable and compared with injury type, substance abuse, discharge setting, and mortality.

RESULTS: There were 226 roadside pedestrian injuries during the study period. Patients were divided into groups according to age, under 20 y, 21-40 y, 41-65 y, and over 65 y. Head injuries were more prevalent in patients over age 65, 30.4% versus 14.0% (P = 0.05). There was a trend for increasing alcohol use in the younger population. The likelihood of discharge to a rehab facility increased with age, 0%, 11.8%, 38.2%, 50.0%, respectively (P < 0.001). Mortality was significantly higher in patients older than 65 y, 15.2% versus 3.3% (P = 0.049).

CONCLUSIONS: Roadside pedestrian injuries have predictable injury patterns based on age. Older patients are more likely to have a head injury, longer length of stay, need for a rehab stay, and have a higher mortality. Further studies are needed to correlate precise injuries with collision mechanism and evaluate specific risk factors in this high risk population.

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