Background: A pediatric trauma registry for the Kingdom of Bahrain would be a novel public health tool for the population and would distinguish the Bahraini health system from other health systems in the region by joining the few systems that have implemented surveillance. The aim of this study was to explore the epidemiology of pediatric trauma at the national level and to uncover the potential obstacles to implementation of a sustainable national registry.
Methods: This multicenter observational cross-sectional study was conducted in the Kingdom of Bahrain using data from the Pediatric Trauma Registry (PTR), which was a short-term paper-based prospective trauma registry based in the pediatric emergency departments of the three national referral hospitals in the Kingdom. By simultaneously collecting data from all three trauma hospitals in the country, it was assumed that during the data collection period all major pediatric trauma patients in the country would be captured by the study, and that the data collected would provide national estimates of trauma. Inclusion criteria for the study was any individual under the age of 14, that arrived at the emergency department seeking care for injuries sustained from trauma.
Results: A total of 1,328 patients were included in the study. Sixty nine percent of patients were treated and discharged from the ED, 30.5% were admitted to the hospital, admitted for surgery, or seen by a specialist, and 0.5% were deceased. The percentage of patients documented as unrestrained during MVC was 92.5%, and amongst those involved in MVC, 12% were ejected from the cabin of the vehicle.
Conclusions: There are significant implications that this study holds for policy implementation and practice surrounding injury prevention in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Low documented seatbelt utilization and high proportion of ejection amongst MVC victims warrant immediate public health policies. Despite being rare, drownings and near drownings carried half the mortality in the study, and thus public health policy aimed at preventing drownings should be implemented. Public health educational campaigns would also be well suited with this evidence to protect children from sustaining such injuries.