The response of the pediatric head to impacts onto a rigid surface.
The study of pediatric head injury relies heavily on the use of finite element models and child anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs). However, these tools, in the context of pediatric head injury, have yet to be validated due to a paucity of pediatric head response data. The goal of this study is to investigate the response and injury tolerance of the pediatric head to impact. Twelve pediatric heads were impacted in a series of drop tests. The heads were dropped onto five impact locations (forehead, occiput, vertex and right and left parietal) from drop heights of 15 and 30 cm. The head could freely fall without rotation onto a flat 19 mm thick platen. The impact force was measured using a 3-axis piezoelectric load cell attached to the platen. Age and drop height were found to be significant factors in the impact response of the pediatric head. The head acceleration (14%-15 cm; 103-30 cm), Head Injury Criterion (HIC) (253%-15 cm; 154%-30 cm) and impact stiffness (5800%-15 cm; 3755%-30 cm) when averaged across all impact locations increased with age from 33 weeks gestation to 16 years, while the pulse duration (66%-15 cm; 53%-30 cm) decreased with age. Increases in head acceleration, HIC and impact stiffness were also observed with increased drop height, while pulse duration decreased with increased drop height. One important observation was that three of the four cadaveric heads between the ages of 5-months and 22-months sustained fractures from the 15 cm and 30 cm drop heights. The 5-month-old sustained a right parietal linear fracture while the 11- and 22-month-old sustained diastatic linear fractures.
Loyd, AM; Nightingale, RW; Luck, JF; Bass, CD; Cutcliffe, HC; Myers, BS
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