The number of geriatric trauma patients is rising; yet, there is no established best team to care for them. This study analyzed a geriatric trauma service (GTS) that is integrated into the trauma surgery workflow rather than a separate consultation service. We hypothesize this team will lead to decreased mortality, shorter length of stay and increased favorable discharges for geriatric trauma patients.
In July 2017, we established a GTS consisting of geriatric nurse practitioners who were part of the hospital’s geriatrics service, trauma surgeons and surgery residents on the acute care surgery service. The geriatric nurse practitioners were integrated into the trauma surgery workflow and functioned as independent members. The GTS responded to traumas and consultations for patients aged ≥65 years. Trauma surgeons carried out intensive care and operative management, while the geriatric nurse practitioners managed medical issues, family communication and end-of-life planning. We carried out a 2 year retrospective analysis of trauma patients aged ≥65 years seen at Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA, comparing patient outcomes before and after the GTS. The primary outcome was mortality, whereas secondary outcomes included hospital days, intensive care unit days, and discharge disposition.
We found no difference in mortality, intensive care unit days or hospital days with the GTS. However, post-GTS patients were more often discharged to home, rehabilitation, or hospice, and less often to nursing homes.
An integrated geriatric and trauma team is feasible, and significant changes in disposition can be made by utilizing geriatric nurse practitioners. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2020; ••: ••-••.
© 2020 Japan Geriatrics Society.