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Management and outcomes of laryngeal injuries in the pediatric population.

OBJECTIVES: Pediatric laryngeal trauma is an uncommon event. The purpose of this study was to identify outcomes following surgical procedures for pediatric laryngeal trauma, and to provide an in-depth review of the literature.

METHODS: The National Trauma Data Bank was utilized to identify pediatric laryngeal trauma incidents with admission years 2002 through 2006. Patient demographics, injury type, surgical procedures, hospital and intensive care unit durations, ventilator duration, and discharge disposition were abstracted.

RESULTS: There were 69 laryngeal trauma incidents identified, with a median patient age of 12.8 years and an overall mortality rate of 8.7%. Laryngeal injury was frequently blunt-force in nature (82.8%) and often occurred in conjunction with trauma to multiple organ systems (76.8%). Tracheotomy (16 procedures), laryngeal suturing (13 procedures), and laryngeal fracture repair (10 procedures) were the most frequent procedures identified. Laryngeal fracture repair was noted to increase the overall hospital duration (p = 0.040). The communication scores were affected only by tracheotomy (p = 0.013). Surgical intervention did not significantly affect the frequency of home discharge.

CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric laryngeal trauma is an uncommon event that can be evaluated with the National Trauma Data Bank. Although patients who undergo laryngeal fracture repair appear to have an increased duration of hospitalization, patients who undergo tracheotomy or laryngeal suturing do not have increased durations of ventilator dependence, stay in an intensive care unit, or hospitalization.

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