Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Trauma center closures linked to higher odds of death for injured patients

Date:
March 13, 2014
Source:
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
Summary:
Injured patients who live near trauma centers that have closed have higher odds of dying once they reach a hospital, according to a new analysis. Trauma centers are specially staffed and equipped to provide care to severely injured people. They can be costly to operate and many centers struggle to keep their doors open. During the last two decades, about a third of the United States' 1,125 trauma centers have shut down.

Injured patients who live near trauma centers that have closed have higher odds of dying once they reach a hospital, according to a new analysis by UC San Francisco researchers.

Trauma centers are specially staffed and equipped to provide care to severely injured people. They can be costly to operate and many centers struggle to keep their doors open. During the last two decades, about a third of the nation's 1,125 trauma centers have shut down.

The new study, involving more than a quarter of a million patients, analyzed the impact of closures of three centers in California. It found that when a trauma center shut its doors, injured patients who had to travel farther to reach an open trauma center had 21% higher odds of in-hospital death than injured patients who did not have to travel farther for trauma care. The odds of death were even higher -- 29% -- during the first two years after a closure, the authors reported.

"This study confirms that when trauma centers close, people who live in the surrounding areas are more likely to die following an injury," said lead author Renee Y. Hsia, MD, an associate professor of emergency medicine at UCSF. She is also an attending physician in the emergency department at the UCSF-affiliated San Francisco General Hospital & Trauma Center and a faculty member of the UCSF Institute for Health Policy Studies.

"There have been an increasing number of trauma center closures in recent years, and these closures are associated with a higher risk of death in the affected communities," she said.

The article will be published March 13, 2014 in The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery.

Researchers compared patients whose travel time to their nearest trauma center increased to those with no change in travel time, as well as those whose travel time to trauma care decreased after a trauma center opened nearby. They found that decreased travel time to the closest trauma center was associated with 17% lower odds of in-hospital mortality compared to the group experiencing no change, while increased travel time was associated with 14% higher odds of in-hospital mortality.

These effects were intensified in the first two years following a closure. Injured patients with decreased travel times to the nearest trauma center had 16% lower odds of death, while injured patients affected by a closure had 26% higher odds of death.

The researchers examined the impact of three trauma center closures in California between 1999 and 2009 on more than 270,000 patients with injuries admitted to their nearest trauma center. They compared the in-hospital mortality of 5,122 patients, who lived in ZIP codes where their drive time to that nearest trauma center increased as the result of a nearby closure, to 228,236 patients whose drive time did not change, and 37,787 patients whose travel time decreased as the result of a trauma center opening.

Affected patients were more likely to be young and low income, to identify as part of a racial or ethnic minority group and have Medi-Cal insurance than patients whose travel time to their nearest trauma center did not increase, Hsia said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hsia, Renee Y.; Srebotnjak, Tanja; Maselli, Judith; Crandall, Marie; McCulloch, Charles; Kellermann, Arthur L. The association of trauma center closures with increased inpatient mortality for injured patients. The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, March 2014

Cite This Page:

University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). "Trauma center closures linked to higher odds of death for injured patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140313092047.htm>.
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). (2014, March 13). Trauma center closures linked to higher odds of death for injured patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140313092047.htm
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). "Trauma center closures linked to higher odds of death for injured patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140313092047.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Video provided by Newsy
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