Pediatric Golf Cart Trauma: Not Par for the Course
Brett M Tracy, Ashley Thompson, Krista Miller, Phillip Bloodworth, Eric Clayton, Jo Cooke-Barber, *William Boswell
Memorial University Medical Center-Mercer University School of Medicine, Savannah, GA
Background (issue): Off the course usage of golf carts is rising, while safety legislation appears to be inconsistently enforced. Unfortunately, pediatric trauma related to golf carts occurs frequently. In this study, we seek to investigate the injury burden of golf cart trauma on children in our region. Methods: We performed a retrospective review from 2010 to 2016 of children involved in golf cart accidents (n=46). Independent variables collected were age, gender, GCS, ISS, location of accident, and mechanism of accident. Outcomes included injury type and hospital length of stay (LOS).
Findings: The average number of children affected by gold cart accidents annually was 6.5, with a mean age of 8.6 years, GCS of 14.6, ISS of 9.9, and a LOS of 3 days. Most patients were passengers with at least one quarter being ejected. We found that increasing GCS significantly decreased LOS by 0.634 days, while increasing ISS significantly increased LOS days. Furthermore, patients with closed head and intra-abdominal injuries had a statistically longer LOS compared to patients without these injuries. Specifically, 47.8% of patients had skull fractures, and decreasing age was noted to significantly increase the likelihood of experiencing a skull fracture by 1.17 times. Increasing age significantly increased the risk of experiencing an extremity fracture by 1.22 times.
Conclusions (implications for practice): Golf cart trauma represents a significant cause of serious morbidity in young children. Increased legislation is needed federally and locally to decrease its incidence and injury burden.
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