A decade evaluation of a state trauma system: Has access to inpatient trauma care at designated trauma centers improved?

Dennis W. Ashley, Etienne E. Pracht, Regina S. Medeiros, Elizabeth V. Atkins, Elizabeth G. NeSmith, Tracy J. Johns, James R. Dunne, Jeffrey M. Nicholas

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3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recently, the trauma center component of the Georgia trauma system was evaluated demonstrating a 10 per cent probability of increased survival for severely injured patients treated at designated trauma centers (DTCs) versus nontrauma centers. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a state trauma system to provide access to inpatient trauma care at DTCs for its residents. We reviewed 371,786 patients from the state's discharge database and identified 255,657 treated at either a DTC or a nontrauma center between 2003 and 2012. Injury severity was assigned using the International Classification Injury Severity Score method. Injury was categorized as mild, moderate, or severe. Patients were also categorized by age and injury type. Access improved over time in all severity levels, age groups, and injury types. Although elderly had the largest improvement in access, still only 70 per cent were treated at a DTC. During the study period, increases were noted for all age groups, injury severity levels, and types of injury. A closer examination of the injured elderly population is needed to determine the cause of lower utilization by this age group. Overall, the state's trauma system continues to mature by providing patients with increased access to treatment at DTCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)769-777
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Volume83
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2017

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Cite this

Ashley, D. W., Pracht, E. E., Medeiros, R. S., Atkins, E. V., NeSmith, E. G., Johns, T. J., ... Nicholas, J. M. (2017). A decade evaluation of a state trauma system: Has access to inpatient trauma care at designated trauma centers improved? American Surgeon, 83(7), 769-777.