TUESDAY, March 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Patients with isolated, severe head injury have better outcomes if they are initially treated in designated trauma centers, according to a study published online March 1 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
Elinore J. Kaufman, M.D., from New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, and colleagues used the State Emergency Department and Inpatient Databases for six states (2011 to 2012) to retrospectively assess patients with severe, isolated head injury. Comparisons were made between in-hospital mortality and discharge status for all adults initially presented to either a trauma center or a neurosurgery-capable non-trauma center.
The researchers found that 62,198 patients presented with severe, isolated head injury, with 44.2 percent presenting to non-trauma centers and 55.8 percent presenting to trauma centers. Overall, initial presentation to a trauma center was associated with no significant difference in overall mortality, but with a 5.8 percent higher rate of discharge home. However, for patients aged ≥65 years, initial presentation to a trauma center was associated with a 3.4 percent reduction in mortality.
“Patients with isolated, severe head injury have better outcomes if initially treated in designated trauma centers,” the authors write. “As 40 percent of such patients were triaged to non-trauma centers, there are major opportunities for improving outcomes.”
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