Background: Level III trauma centers are an effective component of a healthy trauma system. This study examined the effectiveness over time of a Level III trauma center in a predominately rural region. Methods For analysis, the data were divided into 2 equal time spans: an early period (19972002) and a late period (20032008). A dedicated trauma service was implemented in 2003. Results A total of 8,689 patient outcomes were analyzed. In those patients with an injury severity score of 15 or less, 49 of 3,307 (1.5%) patients died in the early period, and 74 of 4,244 (1.7%) died in the late period (P = .40). In those with an injury severity score greater than 15, 66 of 402 patients (16.4%) died in the early period, whereas 81 of 736 (11.0%) patients died in the late period (P = .01). Despite the increased injury severity, overall mortality rates remained unchanged. Conclusions Implementation of a full-time trauma service resulted in improved outcomes including a 33% mortality reduction in the severely injured.
- Trauma systems
ASJC Scopus subject areas