Trauma-center care significantly lowers risk of death

-trauma facilities. The mortality rate one year following the injury was 10.4 percent for patients at trauma centers compared to 13.8 percent for patients at non-trauma centers.

The researchers noted that the effect of treatment at trauma centers was less significant among older patients with underlying health problems.

"This study provides convincing evidence that care at a level 1 trauma center saves lives," said Gregory Jurkovich, MD, a University of Washington professor of surgery and a co-author of the study. "Our next step is to see if level 1 trauma center care also improves the quality of life of trauma survivors. We'll examine the differences in functional outcome and cost of care between level 1 trauma centers and non-trauma centers."

Caring for the acutely injured is a major public health issue and involves bystanders and community members, health care professionals and health care systems. "This research provides state and community leaders with crucial information, so that they can make sound decisions regarding their trauma systems and the care that people receive after they are injured. It is one way that the Centers for Disease Control contributes to reducing premature death and disability through research and partnerships," said Richard C. Hunt, MD, director of the CDC's Injury Center's Division of Injury Response.

Additional study authors are Frederick P. Rivara, MD, MPH, and Avery B. Nathens, MD, PhD, from the University of Washington School of Medicine; and Katherine P. Frey, MPH, Brian L. Egleston, MPP, David S. Salkever, PhD, and Daniel O. Scharfstein, ScD, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.


Contact: Kenna Lowe
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

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