[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trauma surgery is in constant evolution as is the use of damage control laparotomy (DCL). The purpose of this study was to report the change in usage of DCL over time and its effect on outcome.
Trauma patients requiring laparotomies during a 3-year (2006-2008) period were reviewed. DCL was defined as laparotomy when fascia was not closed at the first operation.
There were 14,534 trauma patients evaluated, and 843 laparotomies were performed on 532 patients during the study period. The number of patients requiring open laparotomies slightly increased while the demographics and Injury Severity Score were similar during the study period. The number of patient requiring DCL significantly decreased from 36.3% (53 of 146) in 2006 to 8.8% (15 of 170) in 2008 (p < 0.001). During this same time period, the mortality rate for patients requiring open laparotomy significantly decreased from 21.9% in 2006 to 12.9% in 2008 (p = 0.05). The decreased use of DCL resulted in a 33.3% reduction in the number of laparotomies performed. The decrease in average costs and charges is projected to result in savings of $2.2 million and $5.8 million, respectively.
The use of DCL was significantly decreased by 78% during the study with significantly improved outcome. The improved outcome and decreased resource utilization can reduce health care costs and charges. Although DCL may be a vital aspect of trauma surgery, it can be used more selectively with improved outcome.
The Journal of trauma 07/2010; 69(1):53-9. · 2.35 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Teletrauma programs allow rural patients access to advanced trauma and emergency medical services that are often limited to urban areas.
A retrospective analysis of 59 teleconsults between 5 rural hospitals and a level I trauma center was performed. The objectives of this study were to report the initial experience with a telemedicine program connecting 5 rural hospitals with a level I trauma center.
A total of 59 trauma and general surgery patients were evaluated. Of those, 35 (59%) were trauma patients, and 24 (41%) were general surgery patients. Fifty patients (85%) were from the first hospital at which teletrauma was established. For 6 patients, the teletrauma consults were considered potentially lifesaving; 17 patients (29%) were kept in the rural hospitals (8 trauma and 9 general surgery patients). Treating patients in the rural hospitals avoided transfers, saving an average of $19,698 per air transport or $2,055 per ground transport.
The telepresence of a trauma surgeon aids in the initial evaluation, treatment, and care of patients, improving outcomes and reducing the costs of trauma care.
American journal of surgery 12/2009; 198(6):905-10. · 2.36 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The use of telemedicine is long-standing, but only in recent years has it been applied to the specialities of trauma, emergency care, and surgery. Despite being relatively new, the concept of teletrauma, telepresence, and telesurgery is evolving and is being integrated into modern care of trauma and surgical patients. This paper will address the current applications of telemedicine and telepresence to trauma and emergency care as the new frontiers of telemedicine application. The University Medical Center and the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) in Tucson, Arizona have two functional teletrauma and emergency telemedicine programs and one ad-hoc program, the mobile telemedicine program. The Southern Arizona Telemedicine and Telepresence (SATT) program is an inter-hospital telemedicine program, while the Tucson ER-link is a link between prehospital and emergency room system, and both are built upon a successful existing award winning ATP and the technical infrastructure of the city of Tucson. These two programs represent examples of integrated and collaborative community approaches to solving the lack of trauma and emergency care issue in the region. These networks will not only be used by trauma, but also by all other medical disciplines, and as such have become an example of innovation and dedication to trauma care. The first case of trauma managed over the telemedicine trauma program or "teletrauma" was that of an 18-month-old girl who was the only survival of a car crash with three fatalities. The success of this case and the pilot project of SATT that ensued led to the development of a regional teletrauma program serving close to 1.5 million people. The telepresence of the trauma surgeon, through teletrauma, has infused confidence among local doctors and communities and is being used to identify knowledge gaps of rural health care providers and the needs for instituting new outreach educational programs.
Scandinavian journal of surgery: SJS: official organ for the Finnish Surgical Society and the Scandinavian Surgical Society 02/2007; 96(4):281-9. · 1.17 Impact Factor