Outcomes of trauma care at centers treating a higher proportion of older patients: The case for geriatric trauma centers

Syed Nabeel Zafar, Augustine Obirieze, Eric B. Schneider, Zain G. Hashmi, Valerie K. Scott, Wendy R. Greene, David T. Efron, Ellen J. Mackenzie, Edward E. Cornwell, Adil H. Haider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The burden of injury among older patients continues to growand accounts for a disproportionate number of trauma deaths.We wished to determine if older trauma patients have better outcomes at centers that manage a higher proportion of older trauma patients. METHODS: The National Trauma Data Bank years 2007 to 2011 was used. All high-volume Level 1 and Level 2 trauma centers were included. Trauma centers were categorized by the proportion of older patients seen. Adult trauma patients were categorized as older (≥65 years) and younger adults (16-64 years). Coarsened exact matching was used to determine differences in mortality and length of stay between older and younger adults. Risk-adjusted mortality ratios by proportion of older trauma patients seen were analyzed using multivariate logistic regression models and observed-expected ratios. RESULTS: A total of 1.9 million patients from 295 centers were included. Older patients accounted for one fourth of trauma visits. Matched analysis revealed that older trauma patients were 4.2 times (95% confidence interval, 3.99-4.50) more likely to die than younger patients. Older patients were 34% less likely to die if they presented at centers treating a high versus low proportion of older trauma (odds ratio, 0.66; 95% confidence interval, 0.54-0.81). These differences were independent of trauma center performance. CONCLUSION: Geriatric trauma patients treated at centers that manage a higher proportion of older patients have improved outcomes. This evidence supports the potential advantage of treating older trauma patients at centers specializing in geriatric trauma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)852-859
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Volume78
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 4 2015

Keywords

  • Geriatric trauma
  • health care costs
  • outcomes
  • trauma systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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