Injuries kill more children than any other cause, and in Bexar County, injuries from motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death in children ages 5 to 14 last year, according to the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District. The proper use of restraints in vehicles and safer behavior on the part of drivers could prevent virtually all of those deaths. In 2014, 1,165 seriously injured children were treated at University Hospital, a number that has risen fairly steadily each year since 2010 when 753 child injuries were reported. That represents a 46 percent increase in the rate of child injuries over a five-year period. Within those numbers, not all news was bad. Car and truck crash injuries make up a significant percentage of young trauma patients at University Hospital, and the rate of those injuries declined by 25 percent between 2012 and 2014. Over a five-year period, the decline was only 3 percent, but the fact that even slight progress was seen is a hopeful sign. University Health System’s injury prevention program staff has worked hard to make our community a safer place, distributing hundreds of car seats each year thanks to donors such as the San Antonio Automobile Dealers Association and USAA. A few categories of injury in 2014 saw slight improvement over the previous year, but were significantly higher when viewed over a five-year period. The rate of children hurt on bicycles saw a 28 percent decline from the previous year, but that rate was still 245 percent higher over five years. And the rate of fireworks injuries declined by 38 percent from 2013 to 2014. However they were 164 percent higher than five years ago. The largest single cause of injuries to children in 2014 was falls, with 266 children treated at University Hospital. The rate of those injuries has risen 52 percent over five years. Overall, the number of children injured in violent acts is relatively small — with 27 treated in 2014. But the rate of those violent injuries has remained relatively steady in recent years. University Hospital’s Level II pediatric trauma center has the highest designation of any hospital in the region, and the only hospital verified by the American College of Surgeons. The ACS renewed that Level II status in 2015. Research has found that younger and more seriously injured children have better outcomes at a pediatric trauma center, which is staffed by specially trained physicians and nurses, appropriate resuscitation equipment and medications, special protocols for imaging and other diagnostic procedures, and special pain management guidelines. University Hospital is also home to the only pediatric burn program in South Texas.
2014 Community Trauma Report
To see the actual publication please follow the link above