Trauma and injury in children are known to be a public health concern. More children die from trauma than the next several causes of childhood death combined. In addition to mortalities, there are close to 12 million emergency department (ED) visits annually for the treatment of injuries involving children (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016). The sheer magnitude of the problem has been unchanged for a decade, and it continues to affect not only children and their families but also health care workers and society as a whole (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2017). As a new ED nurse, I have a vivid memory of a Pediatric Emergency Medicine physician telling me that because there is not as much research done with children, “sometimes we just do the best we can.” Granted, this conversation took place nearly 30 years ago, but to change these statistics, we have to do better.
The Pediatric Trauma Society (PTS) was founded in 2010 in response to and recognition of the burden of pediatric trauma. It is a multidisciplinary professional organization with a mission to improve outcomes for injured children. The mission of PTS is supported through the development of practice guidelines, education, research, and advocacy (PTS, 2020). Nurses participated in the formation of PTS and are vital to all aspects of the organization, serving in leadership positions on the board of directors, chairing committees, and participating in research and publications. As the current PTS president and a nurse, I am honored to introduce this pediatric-focused issue of the Journal of Trauma Nursing.
In this pediatric trauma-specific issue, you will find articles that address a variety of topics pertinent to the care of injured children, several representing podium presentations from the 2019 PTS annual meeting. The Society of Trauma Nursing (STN) sponsors a nursing paper competition at the PTS meeting. The articles in this issue represent the highest ranked projects. It is recognized that “experts in pediatric trauma nursing need to continue high-level collaborations with other professional organizations that share the mutual goal of improving the care and outcomes for injured children” (Roney & McKenna, 2018, p. 295). These articles, supported and promoted by PTS and STN, provide continuing education on pediatric trauma so we can begin to change some of the pediatric trauma statistics that have been cited for way too long.
Congratulations to all of the authors. Thank you for going above and beyond to help achieve our shared mission.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Reasons for emergency room use among U.S. children: National Health Interview Survey, 2012. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db160.htm
Pediatric Trauma Society. (2020). Home page. Retrieved June 17, 2020, from https://pediatrictraumasociety.org
Roney L., McKenna C. (2018). Determining the education and research priorities in pediatric trauma nursing: A Delphi study. Journal of Trauma Nursing, 25(5), 290–297. doi:10.1097/JTN.0000000000000390
U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2017). Pediatric trauma centers: Availability, outcomes, and federal support related to pediatric trauma care. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from https://www.gao.gov/assets/690/683706.pdf