Earthquake-Related Injuries in the Pediatric Population: A Systematic Review

Gabrielle A. Jacquet, Bhakti Hansoti, Alexander Vu, Jamil D. Bayram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Children are a special population, particularly susceptible to injury. Registries for various injury types in the pediatric population are important, not only for epidemiological purposes but also for their implications on intervention programs. Although injury registries already exist, there is no uniform injury classification system for traumatic mass casualty events such as earthquakes. Objective: To systematically review peer-reviewed literature on the patterns of earthquake-related injuries in the pediatric population. Methods: On May 14, 2012, the authors performed a systematic review of literature from 1950 to 2012 indexed in Pubmed, EMBASE, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library. Articles written in English, providing a quantitative description of pediatric injuries were included. Articles focusing on other types of disasters, geological, surgical, conceptual, psychological, indirect injuries, injury complications such as wound infections and acute kidney injury, case reports, reviews, and non-English articles were excluded. Results: A total of 2037 articles were retrieved, of which only 10 contained quantitative earthquake-related pediatric injury data. All studies were retrospective, had different age categorization, and reported injuries heterogeneously. Only 2 studies reported patterns of injury for all pediatric patients, including patients admitted and discharged. Seven articles described injuries by anatomic location, 5 articles described injuries by type, and 2 articles described injuries using both systems. Conclusions: Differences in age categorization of pediatric patients, and in the injury classification system make quantifying the burden of earthquake-related injuries in the pediatric population difficult. A uniform age categorization and injury classification system are paramount for drawing broader conclusions, enhancing disaster preparation for future disasters, and decreasing morbidity and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberecurrents.dis.6d3efba2712560727c0a551f4febac16
JournalPLoS Currents
Issue numberNOV
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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