To determine the incidence, demographics, and outcomes of concurrent cervical spine (C-spine) fractures in pediatric facial trauma.
The Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID) from the 2016 Healthcare Cost Utilization Project (HCUP) was queried for various facial fractures using International Classification of Diseases Tenth Revision (ICD-10) diagnosis codes. Mandible fractures were further subdivided into fracture site. Patients aged 0-18 were included, and rates of C-spine fracture were analyzed with regards to demographic factors, length of stay, total charges, mortality rate, hospital characteristics, and concurrent facial fractures.
Of 5568 patients included, 4.18% presented with C-spine fracture. Children with C-spine fractures were significantly older (15.02 vs 12.76 years, p < 0.001) and length of stay was significantly longer (11.33 vs 6.44 days, p < 0.001). There was no difference in rate of C-spine fracture when stratified by gender, time of week/year, hospital location/type, or facial fracture other than subcondylar fractures. Subcondylar fractures were positively associated with C-spine fractures (OR 2.08, p = 0.002). C-spine fractures were associated with significantly higher mortality, length of stay, rate of tracheostomy, transfer out of index hospital, and total hospital charges.
A significant association exists between subcondylar mandible and C-spine fractures. Awareness of this information is vital for clinicians who manage pediatric facial trauma and alerts them to the need to rule out C-spine fractures in this group as these patients have significantly higher lengths of stay, total mean hospital costs, mortality and tracheostomy rates.
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