Analyzing Outcomes for Adults Admitted to Trauma Centers

Over the past 2 decades, significant improvements in mortality outcomes have been observed in various conditions thanks to emphasizing the need for patients to receive recommended evidence-based care and treatments. Less attention, however, has been paid to outcomes resulting from trauma, even though it is the leading cause of potential lost years of life before the age of 65. “Trends in mortality among trauma patients have not been explored adequately in recent research,” says Turner M. Osler, MD, FACS. In an effort to fill this void, Dr. Osler and colleagues conducted a study to determine whether or not mortality rates have improved in trauma patients like they have in other disease states. Published in the Archives of Surgery, the analysis examined longitudinal trends in overall mortality of injured patients who were admitted to level I or level II trauma centers using registry data. A secondary analysis stratified the data by injury severity. Fewer Trauma Mortalities In the study, Dr. Osler and colleagues examined the medical records of nearly 209,000 patients admitted to EDs with injuries who were treated for trauma in 28 hospitals throughout Pennsylvania. Most patients involved in the study were men, but the proportion of patients with mild, moderate, and severe injuries was similar. Blunt trauma and car accidents were the most common causes of trauma, but gunshot wounds, low falls, pedestrian injuries, and stabbings were also reported in the data. “It’s likely that several factors may be responsible for helping people survive trauma.” When comparing 2000-2001 data with that from 2008-2009, the overall mortality rate for patients with moderate injuries decreased by 29% (Figure), and the...