Transportation of pediatric femur fractures to a tertiary care center: a retrospective review

David Alexander, Joanna J. Horstmann, Janet Walker, Vishwas Talwalkar, Henry Iwinski, Todd A. Milbrandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Pediatric femur fractures are common injuries presenting to tertiary care trauma centers. Transportation of these patients occurs most commonly via ambulance or flight. The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether mode of transportation affects time to surgery or hospital stay for pediatric patients with femur fractures.

METHODS: Utilizing a trauma registry we queried pediatric femur fractures between January 2001 and December 2009. Patient age, gender, mechanism of injury, month of injury, type of fracture, transportation, county of origin, time to operating room (TTOR), hospital length of stay (HLOS), and treatment received were identified and compared.

RESULTS: In total, 519 femur fractures were identified, 257 (49.5%) of which were isolated injuries. Flight transportation was utilized in 13.6 % (35 of 257) of these isolated fractures. Mean TTOR for flight patients was 29 hours, HLOS 3.2 days. For ambulance transportation mean TTOR was 41 hours, HLOS 3.2 days. Neither variable was statistically different between transportation groups (TTOR p > 0.50; HLOS p > 0.95). No statistical difference was seen in HLOS (p > 0.47) and TTOR (p > 0.71) for patients originating further distances from the hospital.

CONCLUSION: Transportation method and distance from the hospital did not affect the TTOR and HLOS for isolated pediatric femur fractures. The use of air transportation for this group of patients, many of whom are injured by relatively low energy mechanisms, may be excessively costly and does not accelerate treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-170
Number of pages5
JournalThe Iowa orthopaedic journal
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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