Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Many vulnerable patients have poor access to trauma care, study finds

Date:
January 17, 2011
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
A significant portion of the US population does not have access to trauma care within an hours' drive, with certain vulnerable groups at higher risk of worse access, according to a new study.

A significant portion of the U.S. population does not have access to trauma care within an hours' drive, with certain vulnerable groups at higher risk of worse access, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

"Trauma centers are a key component of the infrastructure of the U.S. health care system because they have been shown to decrease morbidity and mortality [illness and death] for injured patients of all age ranges, from children to the elderly," the authors write as background information in the article. "However, as highlighted in the media and in scholarly literature, trauma centers are more likely to be safety-net hospitals, are often underfunded, and are more likely to be poorly or not reimbursed for their provision of lifesaving but expensive care. These financial hardships are cited as contributing to the increasing closures of trauma centers in the United States and are part of the growing national crisis in access to emergency care."

As trauma centers close, concern has increased regarding disparities in access to trauma care. Renee Hsia, M.D., M.Sc., of the University of California, San Francisco, and Yu-Chu Shen, Ph.D., of Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif., linked data from an annual survey conducted by the American Hospital Association with zip code-level data from the U.S. Census. They then calculated the odds of having easy (defined as travel times of less than 20 minutes), moderate (travel times of 20 to 60 minutes) and difficult (travel times greater than 60 minutes) access to trauma care.

Overall, a significant segment of the population did not have access to trauma care within one hour of driving time. In urban areas, 67 percent of the population had easy access and 12 percent had difficult access; in rural areas, 24 percent had easy access and 31 percent had difficult access.

In addition, access to trauma care was uneven across communities, and areas with higher proportions of certain vulnerable groups had a higher risk of difficult access. "In particular, we found that areas with a higher proportion of certain groups, such as African American and near-poor populations in urban and rural areas and foreign-born populations in urban areas, were at higher risk of having difficult access to trauma centers or, in other words, were farther away from trauma centers," the authors write.

The findings do not suggest that trauma centers should be built in every small town in the United States, but highlight the fact that access is more limited for poor and minority populations in both rural and urban settings, they note. "Stakeholders and health care planners should consider these factors in the development of trauma systems because a mismatch of potential need and access could signal inefficiencies in the delivery of care," the authors conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Renee Hsia; Yu-Chu Shen. Possible Geographical Barriers to Trauma Center Access for Vulnerable Patients in the United States: An Analysis of Urban and Rural Communities. Archives of Surgery, 2011; 146 (1): 46-52 DOI: 10.1001/archsurg.2010.299

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Many vulnerable patients have poor access to trauma care, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110117161442.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2011, January 17). Many vulnerable patients have poor access to trauma care, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110117161442.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Many vulnerable patients have poor access to trauma care, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110117161442.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Will Climate Rallies Spur Change?

Will Climate Rallies Spur Change?

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) Organizers of the People's Climate March and other rallies taking place in 166 countries hope to move U.N. officials to action ahead of their summit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Accompanied by drumbeats, wearing costumes and carrying signs, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Manhattan and other cities around the world on Sunday to urge policy makers to take action on climate change. (Sept. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

AFP (Sep. 20, 2014) Some 125 world leaders are expected to commit to action on climate change at a UN summit Tuesday called to inject momentum in struggling efforts to tackle global warming. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins