Common denominators in death from pediatric back-over trauma

Rebecca Stark, Steven Lee, Angela Neville, Brant Putnam, Scott Bricker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Low-speed "back-over" injuries comprise a small number of pediatric automobile versus pedestrian (AVP) trauma, however these injuries tend to be more severe and have a higher rate of mortality. The objective of this study was to determine environmental, mechanistic, and demographic factors common in pediatric back-over injuries resulting in death. Patients were identified from the trauma registry of an urban Level I trauma center over a 15-year period. Charts for all pediatric AVP injuries in ages 4 years and younger were reviewed. Mortalities due to backover injuries were identified. For the study period reviewed (1995-2010) we identified 535 cases of auto versus pedestrian injury in children less than 4-years-old. Of these, 31 (5.79%) were mortalities. Among those 31 mortalities, six (19.3%) were identified as resulting from back-over trauma. Mean age was significantly lower in back-over injuries as compared with non back-over AVP trauma (1.33 ± 0.23 years, vs 3.5 ± 1.0 years, P = 0.001). We noted a trend toward female gender (67%) and Hispanic ethnicity (67%). All sustained massive blunt head trauma as the cause of death. There were no significant differences in Injury Severity Score or Revised Trauma Score in the back-over group. Environmental analysis revealed that cars were the perpetrating vehicle 50 per cent of the time, and sport utility vehicles, vans, or trucks 50 per cent of the time. In all cases, the accidents occurred in the patient's own driveway and by either a family member (67%) or acquaintance (33%). These data suggest that key characteristics of back-over trauma resulting in mortality include very young age, massive head trauma, injury occurring in the patient's own driveway, and with a family member or acquaintance behind the wheel. This may help identify points of injury prevention to decrease the number of victims of back-over trauma in the pediatric population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1420-1422
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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