A recent study by Ms. Morgan Bobb Swanson, a PhD candidate in epidemiology at the University of Iowa College of Public Health, found that nearly 43 percent of children with severe injuries arrived at a hospital emergency department via private vehicle, rather than by Emergency Medical Service (EMS). The study also found that private vehicle transport of pediatric trauma patients was a risk factor for undertriage.
“After accounting for differences in injuries and demographics, severely injured children have higher odds of arriving at a Level 3 or Level 4 trauma center, which have less specialty care, if they are transported by private vehicle when compared to those transported by EMS,” says Ms. Bobb Swanson.
She added that a follow-up study is currently underway at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics to understand what types of things caretakers consider in choosing to use EMS or private vehicles to transport their injured children.
Ms. Bobb Swanson utilized data from the Iowa Trauma Registry as the basis of her research. The registry was created to study trauma care and now houses data on traumatic injuries seen in the state’s 118 hospitals.
Over the years, the University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center (IPRC) has played a role in improving trauma care in the state by conducting research using Iowa Trauma Registry, housed at the Iowa Department of Public Health.
Examples of UI IPRC research findings