National risk factors for child maltreatment after trauma: Failure to prevent

Joshua Parreco, Hallie J. Quiroz, Brent A. Willobee, Mathew Sussman, Jessica L. Buicko, Rishi Rattan, Nicholas Namias, Chad M. Thorson, Juan E. Sola, Eduardo A. Perez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to identify the risk factors for hospital readmission for child maltreatment after trauma, including admissions across different hospitals nationwide. The Nationwide Readmissions Database for 2010–2014 was queried for all patients younger than 18 years admitted for trauma. The primary outcome was readmission for child maltreatment. The secondary outcome was readmission for maltreatment presenting to a hospital different than the index admission hospital. A subgroup analysis was performed on patients without a diagnosis of maltreatment during the index admission. Multivariable logistic regression was performed for each outcome. There were 608,744 admissions identified and 44,569 (7.32%) involved maltreatment at the index admission. Readmission for maltreatment was found in 1,948 (0.32%) patients and 368 (18.89%) presented to a different hospital. The highest risk for readmission for maltreatment was found in patients with maltreatment identified at the index admission (odds ratios (OR) 9.48 [8.35–10.76]). The strongest risk factor for presentation to a different hospital was found with the lowest median household income quartile (OR 3.50 [2.63–4.67]). The subgroup analysis identified 647 (0.11%) children with readmission for maltreatment that was missed during the index admission. The strongest risk factor for this outcome was Injury Severity Score > 15 (OR 3.29 [2.68–4.03]). This study demonstrates that a significant portion of admissions for trauma in children and teenagers could be misrepresented as not involving maltreatment. These index admissions could be the only chance for intervention for child maltreatment. Identifying these at-risk individuals is critical to prevention efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)700-707
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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