Pediatric Hand and Upper Extremity Injuries Presenting to Emergency Departments in the United States: Epidemiology and Health Care–Associated Costs

Published on 2019-08-26T18:21:02Z (GMT) by
<div><p><b>Background:</b> Upper extremity injuries represent one of the most common pediatric conditions presenting to emergency departments (EDs) in the United States. We aim to describe the epidemiology, trends, and costs of pediatric patients who present to US EDs with upper extremity injuries. <b>Methods:</b> Using the National Emergency Department Sample, we identified all ED encounters by patients aged <18 years associated with a primary diagnosis involving the upper extremity from 2008 to 2012. Patients were divided into 4 groups by age (≤5 years, 6-9 years, 10-13 years, and 14-17 years) and a trauma subgroup. Primary outcomes were prevalence, etiology, and associated charges. <b>Results:</b> In total, 11.7 million ED encounters were identified, and 89.8% had a primary diagnosis involving the upper extremity. Fracture was the most common injury type (28.2%). Dislocations were common in the youngest group (17.7%) but rare in the other 3 (range = 0.8%-1.6%). There were 73.2% of trauma-related visits, most commonly due to falls (29.9%); 96.9% of trauma patients were discharged home from the ED. There were bimodal peaks of incidence in the spring and fall and a nadir in the winter. Emergency department charges of $21.2 billion were generated during the 4 years studied. While volume of visits decreased during the study, associated charges rose by 1.21%. <b>Conclusions:</b> Pediatric upper extremity injuries place burden on the economy of the US health care system. Types of injuries and anticipated payers vary among age groups, and while total yearly visits have decreased over the study period, the average cost of visits has risen.</p></div>

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Lee, Alfred; Colen, David L.; Fox, Justin P.; Chang, Benjamin; Lin, Ines C. (2019): Pediatric Hand and Upper Extremity Injuries Presenting to Emergency Departments in the United States: Epidemiology and Health Care–Associated Costs. SAGE Journals. Collection. https://doi.org/10.25384/SAGE.c.4644167.v1