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Pearls in Pediatric Trauma


By Nathan Heinzerling, MD, Niyant Patel, MD, and Douglas Potoka, MD , Akron Children's Hospital, Akron, OH

More about Nathan Heinzerling, MD
More about Niyant Patel, MD
More about Douglas Potoka, MD

Objectives (Educational Content) :

1. Discuss the indications for an emergency thoracotomy. 2. Briefly describe the technique for performing an emergency thoracotomy. 3. Review the types official fractures. 4. Discuss the operative management of pan-facial fractures.

Target Audience:

General pediatricians, family physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, social workers, psychologists, and nurses.

Identified Gap:

The American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma requires a structured effort by trauma programs to demonstrate a continuous process for improving care for injured patients and states that an evidence-based rather than an empiric approach presents more meaningful criteria against which trauma care can be measured. A standardized approach to recurring care issues minimizes unnecessary variation, allow better outcome assessment, and makes changes in care easier to implement and more uniform. They further recommend that all members of the trauma team are knowledgeable about current practices in trauma care, that multidisciplinary education should be ongoing in all trauma centers, and that performance improvement programs should be an important part of educational activities.

Estimated Time to Complete the Educational Activity:

1 hour

Expiration Date for CME Credit:


Method of Physician Participation in the Learning Process:

The learner will view the presentation, successfully complete a post-test and complete an activity evaluation.

Evaluation Methods:

All learners must successfully complete a post-test, as well as an activity evaluation, to claim CME credit.


Drs. Heinzerling, Patel and Potoka have indicated that they have no relevant financial interest in any pharmaceutical or medical device company and that this activity was developed independent of commercial interest.

Accreditation Statement:

Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron is accredited by the Ohio State Medical Association to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

CHMCA designates this enduring material activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit TM.  Physicians should only claim the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Cothren and Moore, World Journal of Emergency Surgery, 1:4-13 (2006)Seamonet al., J Trauma Acute Care Surg, 79(1):159-73 (2015)Rhee et al., JACS 190:288 (2000)

Panossian et al., J Surg Res, 255:486-494 (2020)

McClellan et al., Am Surg 79(12):1248-52 (2013)

An evidenced-based approach to patient selection for emergency department thoracotomy: A practice management guideline from the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma/Trauma Acute Care Surg/Vol 79, Number 1