NHTSA Invites The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to Join Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network

08/8/2005

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was recently designated a member of the Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN), a multidisciplinary research network which provides The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the auto safety engineering community, and the medical profession with the ability to jointly study real-world cases of serious injuries sustained in car crashes.

Each year, there are nearly 42,000 deaths and 3.5 million injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes in the United States. Nearly one-third of crashes involve children, for whom motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and acquired disability for children older than one year.

"To the CIREN network, we bring nearly 10 years of experience as a team in conducting epidemiological, engineering and clinical research initiatives focused on understanding the full scope of motor vehicle crash injuries," said Dr. Dennis Durbin M.D., M.S.C.E., co-principal investigator of the CIREN Center at Children's Hospital and a pediatric emergency physician and injury
epidemiologist. "Through our participation in the CIREN network, we aim to
translate findings into meaningful advancements in the prevention and
treatment of child injuries."

Children's Hospital is the only exclusively pediatric-focused research hospital in the network of eight CIREN centers located across the country. As a Level One Pediatric Trauma Center, Children's Hospital has one of the busiest pediatric emergency departments in the country with 71,000 visits each year. Motor vehicle crash injuries are a leading cause for injury-related admission at Children's Hospital accounting for over 50 admissions per year.

With family consent, the CIREN team conducts individual investigations into the injuries of car crash victims who come to Children's Hospital for treatment. "These crash investigations help us monitor how new auto safety technologies are effecting outcomes for children in crashes," says Kristy Arbogast, Ph.D., co-principal investigator of the CIREN Center at Children's Hospital and a biomechanical engineer with expertise in crash investigation-based research. "While we are investigating a broad range of injuries, we are particularly interested in the biomechanics of pediatric abdominal injury - a real problem for children who are restrained in improperly fitting seat
belts." Engineering solutions to pediatric abdominal injury would help auto
manufacturers design built-in vehicle restraints that are protective for both
adults and children.

Since 1997, Children's Hospital has been home to the largest study of children in crashes, Partners for Child Passenger Safety, which is conducted in partnership with State Farm. As a CIREN Center, Children's Hospital is able to further expand its crash investigation and engineering research into the injury mechanisms and engineering solutions to child crash injuries.

About The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country, ranking second in National Institutes of Health funding. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 430-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit http://www.chop.edu.

Children's Hospital is home to Partners for Child Passenger Safety (PCPS), a research collaboration between Children's Hospital and State Farm since 1997. As of February 2005, PCPS has created a database containing information on more than 377,000 crashes involving more than 557,000 children from birth through age 15 years. It is the largest source of data on children in motor vehicle crashes. PCPS is based at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and is funded by State Farm.

About CIREN

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration created CIREN in 1996
to improve the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of motor vehicle crash
injuries to reduce deaths, disabilities, and human and economic costs. The eight CIREN Centers bring to the nation the benefits of a focus of serious crash injury problems relating to vehicles, environmental conditions, roadways, driver behaviors, and medical practices. The CIREN researchers, some of the nation's foremost traumatologists from a variety of specialties, bring a wide diversity of injury experience and medical and engineering expertise. They apply their rich multidisciplinary expertise to the many serious crash injuries they treat in their facilities and share their knowledge with NHTSA and the wider safety community. This combination of major medical facilities and researchers provides NHTSA and the safety community with a powerful microscope for the study of the prevention and treatment of serious crash
injuries.

Contact:
Dana Mortensen
(267) 426-6092
mortensen@email.chop.edu