Prospectively collected data on 727 major trauma patients from a Portugese trauma centre registry enabled the comparison of mortality between three groups of patients with a priori defined life threatening ‘ABCD’ problems: those whose ABCD issues were treated in the field by a pre-hospital emergency physician, those that were treated at another hospital prior to trauma centre transfer, and those whose ABCD issues were first treated on arrival at the trauma centre. The study population included mixed urban and rural trauma.
Patients from the pre-hospital and first hospital groups had 20% and 27% mortality respectively, compared to 38% among those whose life-threatening events were corrected only at the trauma centre.
Patients whose life- threatening events were treated in the pre-hospital environment had lower mortality but at the same time were younger and less severely injured, so a multivariate logistic regression was performed to adjust the odds of death to patient characteristics and trauma severity as well as time from accident to trauma centre. Logistic regression showed that increases in mortality were associated with female gender and older age, penetrating type of trauma, higher anatomic severity (ISS), higher physiological severity (RTS) and having the life-threatening events corrected only at the trauma centre. Logistic regression showed that patients whose life-threatening events were corrected only at the trauma centre had an odds of death 3.3 times greater than those from the pre-hospital group, adjusted for patient and trauma characteristics and time to trauma centre.
Correcting life-threatening events pre- trauma centre (pre-hospital and first hospital) increased the total time from the accident to trauma centre, but long pre-hospital times were not associated with worse outcome.
The importance of pre-trauma centre treatment of life-threatening events on the
mortality of patients transferred with severe trauma
Resuscitation. 2010 Apr;81(4):440-5