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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Pediatric pedestrian versus motor vehicle patterns of injury: debunking the myth.

INTRODUCTION: Mechanism of injury has been widely used to enhance the ability of EMS providers to recognize predictable injury patterns. One such pattern, referred to as "Waddell's triad," identifies a triad of injuries associated with pedestrian/motor vehicle collision (MVC), including trauma to the head, abdomen, and lower extremities. We questioned this choice as a common injury pattern for this mechanism. METHODS: A retrospective chart review of 4444 pediatric trauma patients admitted to a regional pediatric trauma center between 1992 and 1996. The source of this information was the medical center's trauma registry. RESULTS: Four-hundred-sixty-five patients suffered a pedestrian/MVC and were included in the study; 231 suffered head injury, and 78 experienced a combination of head and leg injury. Only 11 patients (2.4%) suffered the predicted "triad" of head, leg, and abdominal injury as a result of pedestrian/MVCs. Two of these children suffered minor head injury, and only one patient (0.2%) suffered injury as originally described by Waddell. CONCLUSION: Although the concept of Waddell's triad is logical, and a high index of suspicion should be maintained, the incidence of this predictable injury pattern is low. Educational emphasis should be placed on other aspects of mechanism of pedestrian injury.[1]


  1. Pediatric pedestrian versus motor vehicle patterns of injury: debunking the myth. Orsborn, R., Haley, K., Hammond, S., Falcone, R.E. Air Med. J. (1999) [Pubmed]
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