Using the Red Cross wound classification to predict treatment needs in children with conflict-related limb injuries: a retrospective database study
SourceWorld Journal of Emergency Surgery, 15, 1, (2020), article 52
Article / Letter to editor
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World Journal of Emergency Surgery
SubjectRadboudumc 10: Reconstructive and regenerative medicine RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
BACKGROUND: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) implemented the Red Cross wound classification (RCWC) to quickly assess the severity of a wound in conflict settings. A subdivision into wound grades derived from the RCWC consists of grades 1, 2, and 3, and represents low, major, and massive energy transfer, respectively, to the injured tissue. The aim of this observational study is to assess whether the Red Cross wound grade of a pediatric patient's wound correlates with patient outcomes. METHODS: All pediatric patients (age < 15 years) treated in an ICRC hospital between 1988 and 2014 for conflict-related penetrating extremity injuries were retroactively included. Correlations were assessed between wound grades and number of surgeries, blood transfusions, days hospitalized, and mortality. Stratification analyses were performed to evaluate potential effect modifiers. RESULTS: The study included 2463 pediatric patients. Pediatric patients with a higher wound grade received significantly more surgeries (grade 1 median 2; grade 3 median 3), more blood transfusions (grades 1 and 3 received 33.9 and 72.2 units per 100 patients, respectively), and were hospitalized longer (grade 1 median 15; grade 3 median 40 days). Mortality rates did not significantly differ. Stratification analyses did not reveal effect modifiers for the association between wound grades and patient outcomes. CONCLUSION: The Red Cross wound grade of a pediatric patient's extremity wound correlates independently with treatment needs. This simple wound grading system could support clinical decision-making and should be integrated into the clinical assessment of weapon-wounded pediatric patients in conflict settings.
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