Coagulation testing in pediatric blunt trauma patients

James F Holmes Jr, H. C. Goodwin, C. Land, Nathan Kuppermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine the prevalence of abnormal coagulation studies and to identify variables associated with markedly elevated coagulation studies in children with blunt trauma. Methods: We reviewed the medical records of all patients < 15 years old hospitalized at a Level 1 trauma center for either blunt head or torso trauma over a 4-year period. Data from each patient's emergency department (ED) presentation were abstracted. ED coagulation studies were defined prior to data analysis as elevated if the international normalized ratio (INR) was ≥1.2 or partial thromboplastin time (PTT) was ≥33.0 seconds and markedly elevated if the INR was ≥1.5 or PTT was ≥40 seconds. Variables associated with markedly elevated coagulation studies in a univariate analysis (P < 0.05) were entered into a backward elimination logistic regression analysis to identify variables independently associated with markedly elevated coagulation studies. Results: A total of 1082 patients' records were reviewed, and the 830 (77 %) patients with coagulation studies obtained composed the study population. Elevated coagulation studies were detected in 232 (28%) patients, and 49 (6%) of these were found to be markedly elevated. In the multivariate analysis, a GCS ≤13 (odds ratio [OR] 8.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] 4.3,17.7), low systolic blood pressure (OR 4.0, 95% CI 1.6, 9.9), open/multiple bony fractures (OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.4, 6.2), and major tissue wounds (OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.4, 5.6) were independently associated with markedly elevated coagulation studies. Conclusion: Hospitalized pediatric blunt trauma patients frequently have minor elevations in ED coagulation studies. Marked elevations occur infrequently and are independently associated with a GCS ≤13, low systolic blood pressure, open/multiple bony fractures, and major tissue wounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-328
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Emergency Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001


  • Blunt trauma
  • Coagulation tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Nursing(all)
  • Emergency Medicine


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