We sought to determine the secondary overtriage rate of pediatric trauma patients admitted to pediatric trauma centers. We hypothesized that pediatric secondary overtriage (POT) would constitute a large percentage of admissions to PTC.
The Pennsylvania Trauma Outcome Study database was retrospectively queried from 2003 to 2017 for pediatric (age ≤ 18 y) trauma patients transferred to accredited pediatric trauma centers in Pennsylvania (n = 6). Patients were stratified based on discharge within (early) and beyond (late) 24 h following admission. POT was defined as patients transferred to a PTC with an early discharge. Multilevel mixed-effects logistic regression model controlling for demographic and injury severity covariates were utilized to determine the adjusted impact of injury patterns on early discharge.
A total of 37,653 patients met inclusion criteria. For transfers, POT compromised 18,752 (49.8%) patients. Compared to POT, non-POT were more severely injured (ISS: 10 versus 6;P < 0.001) and spent less time in the ED (Min: 181 versus 207;P < 0.001). In adjusted analysis, concussion, closed skull vault fractures, supracondylar humerus fractures, and consults to neurosurgery were associated with increased odds of POT. Overall, femur fracture, child abuse evaluation, and consults to plastic surgery, orthopedics, and ophthalmology were all associated with a decreased risk of being POT.
POT comprises 49.8% of PTC transfer admissions in Pennsylvania’s trauma system. Improving community resources for management of pediatric concussion and mild TBI could result in decreased rates of POT to PTCs. Developing better inter-facility transfer guidelines and increased education of adult TC and nontrauma center hospitals is needed to decrease POT.
Epidemiologic study, level III.

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