Using National Databases to Evaluate Injury Patterns in Pedestrian Impacts 2009-01-1209
Each year, over half of the world's 1.17 million fatalities resulting from traffic collisions are pedestrians (World Bank, 2008). Mitigation of such fatalities and serious injuries requires a thorough understanding of the common injury mechanisms that occur in pedestrian impacts. Studying the frequency of injury to each body region and how injury patterns are related may provide additional insight into pedestrian injury mechanisms, which could be used to develop additional prevention strategies. There is a wealth of information regarding pedestrian collisions within national databases that have not been extensively used to investigate these issues to date. This paper presents a review of selected databases that contain information regarding injuries to pedestrians who have been involved in a motor vehicle collision, including the strengths and weaknesses of each in performing this type of analysis. The National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database was utilized to perform statistical analysis on the types and patterns of injuries sustained in pedestrian collisions, with supporting information being provided from other related databases. This analysis demonstrated a high likelihood of lower extremity and head injuries in pedestrians involved in a motor vehicle collision and provided further details regarding these injuries. Additionally, common injury patterns were explored by evaluating the co-diagnoses codes for the most prevalent injuries.