Original Publication
Open Access

Pediatric Emergency Medicine Simulation Curriculum: Blunt Abdominal Trauma

Published: February 3, 2015 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10013

Included in this publication:

  • Pediatric Emergency Medicine Curriculum- Blunt Abdominal Trauma.pdf

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


Injury in general, is the leading cause of death for children in the United States and most developed countries. Blunt abdominal trauma occurs in 10-15% of injured children, with two typical patterns: isolated injury caused by a direct blow or as a part of a high-mechanism, multisystem trauma. Rapid identification of blunt abdominal trauma and its potential sequelae (e.g., hemorrhagic shock, bowel injury) is critical. Management should include monitoring, supplemental 100% oxygen, recruitment of additional resources, airway protection, and intravascular volume replacement. Rapid sequence intubation should be considered for unstable patients. Definitive care may only be available at trauma centers; thus, prompt transfer to a pediatric trauma facility may be critical. The goal of this scenario is to provide the learner with an opportunity to manage pediatric blunt abdominal trauma with hemorrhagic shock, where the correct steps need to be taken in a limited period of time. We included extensive preparatory material, to help the instructor prepare the environment and learners. The debriefing tools have been tailored specifically for this scenario, with advice on how the instructor can edit them for different learners. Supplemental learner handouts help reinforce teaching points. In addition, handouts reviewed by learners who are not able to attend a specific session generate questions amongst the residents themselves and more interest for future simulation sessions. The inclusion of a learner feedback form promotes continuous improvement of the scenario, environmental preparation, and debriefing. In addition, it helps faculty document their teaching efforts. As part of the larger pediatric emergency medicine curriculum which features recurring educational goals and objectives, we found that learners' performance (in medical management, technical skills, and teamwork) improves over time.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this session, learners will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate recognition of blunt abdominal trauma in a pediatric patient.
  2. Demonstrate safe, effective, and efficient management of blunt abdominal trauma in a pediatric patient.
  3. Demonstrate efficient, effective teamwork and communication skills.

Author Information

  • Jennifer Reid, MD: Seattle Children's Hospital
  • Kimberly Stone, MD: Seattle Children's Hospital
  • Jeffrey Otjen, MD: University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle Children's Hospital

None to report.

None to report.


Reid J, Stone K, Otjen J. Pediatric Emergency Medicine Simulation Curriculum: blunt abdominal trauma. MedEdPORTAL. 2015;11:10013. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10013