Emergency department imaging of pediatric trauma patients during combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan

Jason F. Naylor, Michael D. April, Jamie L. Roper, Guyon J. Hill, Paul Clark, Steven G. Schauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Military hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan treated children with traumatic injuries during the recent conflicts. Diagnostic imaging is an integral component of trauma management; however, few published data exist on its use in the wartime pediatric population. Objective: The authors describe the emergency department (ED) utilization of radiology resources for pediatric trauma patients in Iraq and Afghanistan. Materials and methods: We queried the Department of Defense Trauma Registry (DODTR) for all pediatric patients admitted to military fixed-facility hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan from January 2007 to January 2016. We retrieved ED data on ultrasound (US), radiographic and computed tomography (CT) studies. Results: During the study period, there were 3,439 pediatric encounters, which represented 8.0% of all military hospital trauma admissions. ED providers obtained a total of 12,376 imaging studies on 2,920 (84.9%) children. Of the 12,376 imaging studies, 1,341 (10.8%) were US, 4,868 (39.3%) were radiographic and 6,167 (49.8%) were CT exams. Most children undergoing radiographic evaluation were boys (77.8%) and located in Afghanistan (70.4%), and they sustained penetrating injuries (68.0%). Children who underwent imaging had higher composite injury severity scores in comparison to those who did not undergo imaging (10 versus 9). Conclusion: Military health care providers frequently utilized radiographic studies in the evaluation of pediatric trauma casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. Deployed military hospitals that treat children would benefit from dedicated pediatric-specific imaging training and protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)620-625
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Radiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Afghanistan
  • Children
  • Combat
  • Emergency
  • Iraq
  • Radiology
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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