The International Injury Research Unit at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in collaboration with the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa recently began a study to explore the design, implementation, and utilization of Red Cross's pediatric trauma registry. Since 1991, Red Cross's Trauma Unit has developed and maintained a computerized database of all injured children under the age of 13 years that presented to the Trauma Unit at the Red Cross Children's Hospital. Through the establishment of this trauma registry, now nearly two decades ago, and the development of a dedicated trauma unit for children (the only one of its kind in Africa) and Childsafe South Africa, a non-governmental organization committed to the prevention of childhood trauma, the Red Cross Children's Hospital has been fundamental in pioneering safety concerns for children in South Africa.

IIRU has partnered with RCCH to learn from their twenty year experience of collecting and applying data to better understand childhood injury. Dr. Hadley Herbert, a post-doctoral fellow at IIRU is coordinating the study, and Prof. Sebastian van As, MD, PhD (, Director of the Red Cross's Trauma Unit, is directing it in South Africa. The first phase will quantitatively evaluate trends in the hospital's incidence of child injury over a ten year period from 1995 to 2005. The study's second phase will consist of qualitative interviews with key stakeholders and focus groups to explore how the registry has impacted injury prevention programming. Through these methods, this study will explore how trauma registries can better inform cost-effective and sustainable pediatric trauma care improvements. By working with Red Cross Hospital as a hub for pediatric trauma, findings from this study have the potential to be applied to other trauma registries in low and middle income countries. For more information, please contact Dr. Herbert (


Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa