Dr. Wesson has been interested in research relating to pediatric trauma and pediatric injury prevention for over 30 years. For example, he participated in some of the earliest definitive studies on the non-operative treatment of solid organ injuries in children. This research helped to define the indications for operation in children with splenic trauma. This approach was very controversial when first described but it has since become the standard of care for children around the world, and more recently in all age groups.
Dr. Wesson’s interest in pediatric injury prevention grew out of his experience in pediatric trauma care. This led to his research in the promotion of bike helmet use and the subsequent impact on the incidence of fatal bicycling injuries in a defined population of children. Dr. Wesson also played a role in the development of the trauma system in the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario, Canada. His research into the incidence of preventable trauma deaths among children in Ontario documented a significant overall reduction in the incidence of fatal injuries and in the proportion of preventable deaths over the period from the late 1980’s to the early 2000’s. His research supported the hypothesis that these improvements were attributable to improvements in the system of care.
Dr. Wesson has a variety of other research interests particularly in gastrointestinal disorders in children. He published one of the earliest studies of the results of restorative proctocolectomy in children with ulcerative colitis and familial polyposis. He also has a strong interest in the treatment of biliary atresia and enters all of his patients with this disease into NIH funded studies of this problem by the Bilary Atresia Research Consortium (BARC).