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Female pediatric and adolescent genitalia trauma: a retrospective analysis of the National Trauma Data Bank.



Pediatric genitalia injury represents 0.6% of all pediatric trauma. It is crucial for providers to understand whether pediatric patients are at risk for violent mechanisms, such as rape, assault, or other abuse. Therefore, we sought to perform a large database analysis of pediatric and adolescent female genitalia trauma, comparing mechanisms of injury (i.e., sexual abuse) and need for operative intervention between adolescent and pediatric cohorts.


The National Trauma Data Bank was queried (years 2007-2015) for female patients ≤ 16 years old with external genitalia (vaginal or vulvar) trauma. Two groups were compared: pediatrics (< 12 years old) and adolescents (12-16 years old).


Out of 303,992 female patients, 3206 (1.1%) were identified to have genitalia trauma with the majority being pediatric patients (92.1%) and with injury to the vagina (62.6%). Pediatric patients with vaginal injury were less likely to be victims of rape (4.1% vs. 17.3%, p < 0.001) and assault (2.1% vs. 7.2%, p < 0.001) but more likely to be victims of other abuse (9.5% vs. 3.4%, p = 0.003). More of the adolescent patients with vaginal trauma required repair (58.7% vs. 43.2%, p < 0.001). Pediatric patients with injury to the vulva were less likely to be victims of rape (0.7% vs. 2.8%, p = 0.01) and motor vehicle accidents (4.2% vs. 11.0%, p < 0.001).


Genitalia trauma occurs in 1.1% of pediatric and adolescent trauma cases with the vagina being more commonly injured compared to the vulva. Adolescent patients with vaginal injuries were more likely to be victims of rape and assault and required repair more often, while those with vulvar injuries were more likely due to motor vehicle accidents. Health care providers must be aware of these at-risk populations and the differences between them to identify female victims of violence and provide resources to assist with recovery.

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