Zero Preventable Deaths by 2020: Analysis of Prehospital and Emergency Department Deaths Following Penetrating Trauma Stratified by Anatomic Location

August C. Houghton, Jessica K. Friedman, Alison A. Smith, Eman A. Toraih, Megan R. Flanagan, Rebecca W. Schroll, Chrissy Guidry, Patrick R. McGrew, Samir M. Fakhry, Juan C. Duchesne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Preventable deaths following trauma are high and unchanged over the last two decades. The objective of this study was to describe the location of death in patients with penetrating trauma, stratified by anatomic location of injury, in order to better tailor our approach to reducing preventable deaths from trauma. Methods: This retrospective analysis of a prospectively maintained trauma registry included consecutive adult trauma activations with penetrating trauma at a level 1 trauma center between 07/2012 and 03/2018. Injuries were categorized as extremity, junctional, and torso. Head and neck injuries were excluded. Patients injured in >1 defined location were categorized as “multiple.” Location of death was defined as on-scene, emergency department (ED), or hospital. Two-sided χ2 tests were used to compare groups. Multivariate analysis was performed using logistic regression. Results: A total of 1024 patients were included with an overall case fatality rate (CFR) of 7.8%. The CFR following extremity injury (3.0%) was significantly lower than all other injury sites (P =.02).There were no significant differences in CFR for junctional (10.4%), torso (8.3%), or multiple injuries (9.6%). Forty percent of fatalities following junctional injury occurred on-scene and an additional 20% occurred in the ED. Discussion: To our knowledge, this is the first study to describe location of death stratified by anatomic location of injury. There was no difference in the CFRs of junctional and torso injuries, and a large proportion of deaths occurred prior to reaching the hospital or in the trauma bay. These findings support reevaluating the classical algorithms and care pathways for patients with proximal penetrating trauma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)784-789
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Volume87
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • mortality following junctional penetrating trauma
  • prehospital intervention
  • preventable deaths following penetrating injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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