US children of minority race are less likely to be admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit after traumatic injury, a retrospective analysis of a single pediatric trauma center

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US children of minority race are less likely to be admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit after traumatic injury, a retrospective analysis of a single pediatric trauma center

Category: Injury, Youth|Journal: Injury Epidemiology (full text)|Author: J Rose, K Slain, M Wurtz|Year: 2021

Background

The public health impact of pediatric trauma makes identifying opportunities to equalize health related disparities imperative. The influence of a child’s race on the likelihood of admission to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) is not well described. We hypothesized that traumatically injured children of minority race would have higher rates of PICU admission, compared to White children.

 

Methods

This was a retrospective review of a single institution’s trauma registry including children ≤18 years of age presenting to the emergency department (ED) whose injury necessitated pediatric trauma team activation at a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2016. Demographics, injury characteristics and hospital utilization data were collected. Race was categorized as White or racial minority, which included patients identifying as Black, Hispanic ethnicity, Native American or “other.” The primary outcome measure was admission to the PICU. Chi square or Mann Whitney rank sum tests were used, as appropriate, to compare differences in demographics and injury characteristics between those children who were and were not admitted to the PICU setting. Variables associated with PICU admission in univariate analyses were included in a multivariate analysis. Data are presented as median values and interquartile ranges, or numbers and percentages.

 

Results

The median age of the 654 included subjects was 8 [IQR 4–13] years; 55.2% were a racial minority. Nine (1.4%) children died in the ED and 576 (88.1%) were admitted to the hospital. Of the children requiring hospitalization, 195 (33.9%) were admitted to the PICU. Children admitted to the PICU were less likely to be from a racial minority group (26.1% vs 42.5%, p < 0.001). After adjusting for age and injury characteristics in a multivariable analysis, racial minority children had a lower odds of PICU admission compared to White children (OR 0.492 [95% C.I. 0.298–0.813, p = 0.006]).

 

Conclusions

In this retrospective analysis of traumatically injured children, minority race was associated with lower odds of PICU admission, suggesting that health care disparities based on race persist in pediatric trauma-related care.

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