H Belzberg

University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Publications (120)355.81 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background: The use of low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) for chemoprophylaxis of Venous Thromboembolic (VTE) in trauma patients is supported by level-1 evidence. Because Enoxaparin was the agent used in majority of studies establishing the efficacy of LMWH in VTE, it remains unclear if Dalteparin provides equivalent effect. Objective: To compare Dalteparin to Enoxaparin and investigate their equivalence as VTE prophylaxis in trauma. Patients/Setting: Trauma patients receiving VTE chemoprophylaxis in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit of a level-1 trauma center from 2009 (Enoxaparin) to 2010 (Dalteparin) were included. Measurements: The primary outcome was the incidence of clinically significant VTE. Secondary outcomes including heparin induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), major bleeding and drug acquisition cost savings. Equivalence margins were set between -5% and 5%. Main Results: 610 patient records (277 Enoxaparin, 333 Dalteparin) were reviewed. The two study groups did not differ significantly: blunt trauma: 67% vs. 62%, p=0.27; mean ISS: 17±10 vs. 16±10, p=0.34; APACHE II: 17±9 vs. 17±10, p=0.76; time to first dose LMWH: 69±98 vs. 65±67hrs, p=0.57). The rates of DVT (3.2% vs. 3.3%, p=1.00), PE (1.8% vs. 1.2%, p=0.74) and overall VTE (5.1% vs. 4.5%, p=0.85) did not differ. The absolute difference in incidence of overall VTE was 0.5% (95% confidence interval: -2.9%, 4.0%, p=0.85). The 95% CI was within the predefined equivalence margins. There were no significant differences in the frequency of HIT or major bleeding. The total year-on-year cost savings, achieved with 277 patients during the switch to Dalteparin was estimated to be $107,778. Conclusions: Dalteparin is equivalent to Enoxaparin in terms of venous thromboembolism in trauma patients and can be safely used in this population with no increase in complications and significant cost savings.
    European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery 04/2014; 40(2):183-189. · 0.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The use of a "quality rounds checklist" (QRC) is an effective tool for improving compliance with evidence-based preventative measures and outcomes in the surgical intensive care unit (SICU). Our aim was to evaluate the long-term sustainability and outcome impact of this quality improvement strategy. Prospective observational study evaluates the use of the QRC in the SICU from July 2009 to June 2011. Daily compliance with evidence-based prophylactic measures was assessed using the QRC and reviewed monthly at a multidisciplinary meeting. Logistic regression was performed to evaluate patterns of compliance over time. Current compliance was compared with previously reported rates, and the impact on outcomes including catheter-related blood stream infection and ventilator-associated pneumonia rates was examined. Over 2 years, 2,472 patients were admitted to the SICU. Mean (SD) age was 42.2 (22.4) years, 79% were male, and 35% had an Injury Severity Score (ISS) of greater than 15. The rate of compliance with head-of-bed elevation significantly improved during the study period (p = 0.01 for trend), with an overall compliance of 97%. Both deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis and gastrointestinal bleed prophylaxis compliance remained stable, with overall rates of 98% and 96%, respectively. The use of sedation holidays also remained stable, with an overall compliance rate of 94%. Compared with our previously published data, the compliance rates with preventative measures were stable or significantly improved; the incidence of catheter-related blood stream infections was lower (0.85/1,000 vs. 4.98/1,000 catheter days, p < 0.001); and the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia downtrended (1.66/1,000 vs. 8.74/1,000 ventilator days, p = 0.07). Two years after implementation of a QRC, sustainable high rates of compliance with clinically relevant preventative measures in a SICU was demonstrated with minimal fading of clinically relevant outcomes. Therapeutic study, level IV.
    The journal of trauma and acute care surgery. 10/2013; 75(4):717-21.
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    ABSTRACT: Object The Brain Trauma Foundation (BTF) has established guidelines for intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring in severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). This study assessed compliance with these guidelines and the effect on outcomes. Methods This is a prospective, observational study including patients with severe blunt TBI (Glasgow Coma Scale score ≤ 8, head Abbreviated Injury Scale score ≥ 3) between January 2010 and December 2011. Demographics, clinical characteristics, laboratory profile, head CT scans, injury severity indices, and interventions were collected. The study population was stratified into 2 study groups: ICP monitoring and no ICP monitoring. Primary outcomes included compliance with BTF guidelines, overall in-hospital mortality, and mortality due to brain herniation. Secondary outcomes were ICU and hospital lengths of stay. Multiple regression analyses were deployed to determine the effect of ICP monitoring on outcomes. Results A total of 216 patients met the BTF guideline criteria for ICP monitoring. Compliance with BTF guidelines was 46.8% (101 patients). Patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage and those who underwent craniectomy/craniotomy were significantly more likely to undergo ICP monitoring. Hypotension, coagulopathy, and increasing age were negatively associated with the placement of ICP monitoring devices. The overall in-hospital mortality was significantly higher in patients who did not undergo ICP monitoring (53.9% vs 32.7%, adjusted p = 0.019). Similarly, mortality due to brain herniation was significantly higher for the group not undergoing ICP monitoring (21.7% vs 12.9%, adjusted p = 0.046). The ICU and hospital lengths of stay were significantly longer in patients subjected to ICP monitoring. Conclusions Compliance with BTF ICP monitoring guidelines in our study sample was 46.8%. Patients managed according to the BTF ICP guidelines experienced significantly improved survival.
    Journal of Neurosurgery 08/2013; · 3.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to analyze the accuracy of capillary blood glucose (CBG) against laboratory blood glucose (LBG) in critically ill trauma patients during the shock state. METHODS: All critically ill trauma patients admitted to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at the Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Medical Center requiring blood glucose monitoring from January 2007 to December 2008 were included. Accuracy of CBG was compared against LBG during shock and non-shock states. Shock was defined as either systolic blood pressure <90 mm Hg or mean arterial pressure <70 mm Hg and the need for vasopressor therapy. The Bland-Altman method was used to determine the agreement between CBG and LBG during shock and non-shock states. CBG values were considered to disagree significantly with LBG values when the difference exceeded 15%. RESULTS: During the 2-y study period, a total of 1215 patients were admitted to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit. Overall, the mean age was 38.4 ± 20.9 y, 79.6% (967) were male, and 75.0% (911) sustained blunt trauma. A total of 1935 paired samples of CBG and LBG were included in this analysis (367 during shock and 1568 during non-shock). During shock, the mean difference between CBG and LBG levels was 13.4 mg/dL (95% CI, -15.4 to 42.2 mg/dL), and the limits of agreement were -27.1 and 53.9 mg/dL. A total of 136 CBG values (37.1%) differed from the LBG values by more than 15%. During non-shock, the mean difference between CBG and LBG levels was 12.6 mg/dL (95% CI, -19.9 to 32.5 mg/dL), and the limits of agreement were -20.6 and 45.8 mg/dL. A total of 639 CGB values (40.8%) differed from the LBG values by more than 15%. Agreement was lowest among hypoglycemic readings in both shock and non-shock states. CONCLUSION: There is poor correlation between the capillary and laboratory glucose values in both shock and non-shock states.
    Journal of Surgical Research 04/2012; · 2.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recognition of preventable risk factors for suture line failure after colon anastomosis is important for optimizing anastomotic healing. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of crystalloids on the occurrence of anastomotic leakage after traumatic colonic injuries. Retrospective review from January 2005 to August 2009 of severely injured patients who underwent primary colocolonic anastomosis and intensive care unit (ICU) admission for ≥72 hours. Demographics on hospital and ICU admission, amount of crystalloids, and blood component transfusions within the first 72 hours were assessed by multivariate analysis to explore independent associations with anastomotic leakage. Of a total of 123 patients with primary colocolonic anastomosis, 7 died within 72 hour and 24 were discharged before 72 hour from the ICU. The remaining 92 patients required ICU admission for ≥72 hour. Their mean Injury Severity Score was 20.8 ± 10.7, and they were 29.9 years ± 13.0 years old. Twelve patients (13.0%) developed an anastomotic leak. Demographics on hospital and ICU admission, intraoperative blood loss, and the volume of intraoperative fluids given did not differ statistically between patients with or without anastomotic leakage. However, the cumulative amount of crystalloids given over the first 72 hours significantly predicted anastomotic leakage (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve: 0.758 [95% confidence interval 0.592-0.924], p=0.009). By multivariate analysis, ≥10.5 L of crystalloids given over the first 72 hours was independently associated with anastomotic breakdown (odds ratio [95% confidence interval]: 5.26 [1.14-24.39], p=0.033). In addition, increasing age, hemorrhagic shock on admission, and a concomitant stomach injury were independent risk factors for an anastomotic leak (R=0.396). Increased use of crystalloids after primary colocolonic anastomosis at initial trauma laparotomy is associated with anastomotic leakage. A threshold of 10.5 L of crystalloid fluid infused over the first 72 hours is associated with a 5-fold increased risk for colocolonic suture line failure. The impact of crystalloid restriction on anastomotic failure in trauma patients warrants prospective investigation.
    The Journal of trauma 03/2011; 70(3):603-10. · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The relationship between outcomes following severe trauma and American College of Surgeons (ACS) trauma centre designation has been studied. Little is known, however, about the association between ACS level and outcomes associated with ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). The National Trauma Databank (NTDB, Version 5.0) was queried to identify adult (age 18)trauma patients who (1) developed VAP and (2) were admitted to either an ACS level I or level II centre.Transfer and burn patients were excluded. Univariate analysis defined differences between patient cohorts. Logistic regression analysis was utilised to identify independent risk factors for mortality. A total of 3465 patients were identified where 65.6% were admitted to a level I facility and 34.4%to a level II centre. Patients admitted to a level I centre were more likely to have an age > 55 (71.5% vs.66.8%, p = 0.004) and to be hypotensive (SBP < 90) on admission (16.2% vs. 13.6%, p = 0.042). They were also more likely to have a longer duration of mechanical ventilation (18.5 days vs. 16.5 days, p = 0.001),longer hospital LOS (34.2 days vs. 29.6 days, p < 0.001) and a higher rate of early (±7 days) tracheostomy(33.1% vs. 29.1%, p = 0.017). Level I admission was, however, associated with lower mortality rates (10.8%vs. 14.7%, p = 0.001) and a higher likelihood of achieving discharge to home (20.2% vs. 16.1%, p < 0.001).Logistic regression analysis identified admission to a level II facility as an independent risk factor for mortality (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.08–1.66; p = 0.008) in patients developing post-traumatic VAP. For adults who develop VAP after trauma, admission to a level I facility is associated with improved survival. Further prospective study is needed.
    Injury 01/2011; 42(1):40-3. · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    Critical Care Medicine 12/2010; 39(1):228-229. · 6.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Individuals hospitalized after physical trauma are at heightened risk for mental disorders. We examined prevalence rates of both posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depression at 6 and 12 months in a sample of 677 individuals experiencing different types of trauma who were representative of physical trauma survivors hospitalized in Los Angeles County trauma centers. Demographic and injury-related risk factors for these disorders were also evaluated. Bivariate logistic regressions estimated risk for PTSD and depression at either 6 or 12 months associated with baseline risk factors. At 6 months, 31% of participants met screening criteria for probable PTSD and 31% met criteria for probable depression. At 12 months, 28% and 29% met criteria for PTSD and depression, respectively. There were also high rates of comorbidity; depression and PTSD co-occurred in 21% of individuals at 6 months and in 19% of patients at 12 months. Bivariate logistic regressions indicated that preexisting disability and lower education were associated with higher odds of PTSD at either 6 or 12 months. African Americans and Hispanics had higher odds of PTSD compared with non-Hispanic Caucasians. Assault-related injury (versus accident), more severe injury, and longer hospitalizations were also associated with greater odds of PTSD. By contrast, higher odds of depression at 6 or 12 months were only associated with preexisting disability, losing consciousness, more severe injury, and longer hospitalizations. Key demographic and injury characteristics may enhance identification of at-risk trauma survivors who would benefit from targeted screening, patient education, and early intervention efforts.
    The Journal of trauma 12/2010; 69(6):1560-6. · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the impact of Acinetobacter baumannii infection on the outcome of trauma patients. A retrospective 1:2-matched cohort study. Level I trauma intensive care unit patients with confirmed Acinetobacter baumannii infection were defined as cases. Thirty-one Acinetobacter baumannii patients were matched to 62 controls with evidence of infection caused by other microorganisms. There were 12 matching criteria, including focus of infection, demographics, severity, and characteristics of injury. In-hospital mortality rate, intensive care unit length of stay, and complications of Acinetobacter baumannii including multidrug-resistant strains in patients were compared to those of their controls; 81% had hospital-acquired pneumonia, 13% had bloodstream infections, and 6% had urinary tract infections in both groups. Acinetobacter baumannii cultures were multidrug resistant in 42% (13/31) of cases. The initial empirical antibiotic therapy was adequate in 71% (22/31). Although the in-hospital mortality was higher in the Acinetobacter baumannii group (16% vs. 13%; odds ratio, 1.23; 95% confidence interval, 0.38-4.36; p = .67), the difference did not reach statistical significance. Using the test of equivalence or clinical indifference, the impact of an Acinetobacter baumannii infection on mortality is inconclusive. This applies also to multidrug-resistant strains. Overall intensive care unit stay was prolonged for Acinetobacter baumannii when compared to controls (median, [range], 28 [7-181] days vs. 17 [2-130] days, respectively; p = .05). ARDS and acute liver failure were more frequent in the Acinetobacter baumannii group compared to the control group (35% vs. 15%; odds ratio, 3.24; 95% confidence interval, 1.17-5.48; p = .02 and 26% vs. 10%; odds ratio, 3.25; 95% confidence interval, 3.25-10.40; p = .04). In this single-center experience, Acinetobacter baumannii infection, including multidrug-resistant strains, has inconclusive impact on mortality in a cohort of trauma patients. Larger studies are needed to support a definite conclusion. Acinetobacter baumannii infection was, however, associated with a longer intensive care unit stay and a higher rate of organ failure.
    Critical care medicine 11/2010; 38(11):2133-8. · 6.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously demonstrated that the use of a daily "Quality Rounds Checklist" (QRC) can increase compliance with evidence-based prophylactic measures and decrease complications in a busy trauma intensive care unit (ICU) over a 3-month period. This study was designed to determine the sustainability of QRC use over 1 year and examine the relationship between compliance and outcome improvement. A prospective before-after design was used to examine the effectiveness of the QRC tool in documenting compliance with 16 prophylactic measures for ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, catheter-related bloodstream infection, and other ICU complications. The QRC was implemented on a daily basis for a 1-year period by the ICU fellow on duty. Monthly compliance rates were assessed by a multidisciplinary team for development of strategies for real-time improvement. Compliance and outcomes were captured over 1 year of QRC use. QRC use was associated with a sustained improvement of VAP bundle and other compliance measures over a year of use. After multivariable analysis adjusting for age (> 55), injury mechanism, Glasgow Coma Scale score (≤ 8), and Injury Severity Score (> 20), the rate of VAP was significantly lower after QRC use, with an adjusted mean difference of -6.65 (per 1,000 device days; 95% confidence interval, -9.27 to -4.04; p = 0.008). During the year of QRC use, 3% of patients developed a VAP if all four daily bundle measures were met for the duration of ICU stay versus 14% in those with partial compliance (p = 0.04). The overall VAP rate with full compliance was 5.29 versus 9.23 (per 1,000 device days) with partial compliance. Compared with the previous year, a 24% decrease in the number of pneumonias was recorded for the year of QRC use, representing an estimated cost savings of approximately $400,000. The use of a QRC facilitates sustainable improvement in compliance rates for clinically significant prophylactic measures in a busy Level I trauma ICU. The daily use of the QRC, requiring just a few minutes per patient to complete, equates to cost-effective improvement in patient outcomes.
    The Journal of trauma 10/2010; 69(4):855-60. · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to assess the role of decompressive craniectomy (DC) inpatients with post-traumatic intractable intracranial hypertension (ICH) in the absence of an evacuable intracerebral haemorrhage. Retrospective study at LAC+USC Medical Centre including patients who underwent DC for post-traumatic malignant brain swelling or ICH without space occupying haemorrhage, during the period 01/2004 to 12/2008. The analysis included the effect of DC on intracranial pressure (ICP) and timing of DC on functional outcomes and survival. Of 106 patients who underwent DC, 43 patients met inclusion criteria. Of those, 34 were operated within the first 24 h from admission. DC decreased the ICP significantly from 37.8 ± 12.1 mmHg to 12.7 ± 8.2 mmHg in survivors and from 52.8 ± 13.0 to 32.0 ± 17.3 mmHg in non-survivors. Overall 25.6%died (11 of 43), and 32.5% (14 of 43) remained in vegetative state or were severely disabled. Favourable outcome (Glasgow Outcome Scale 4 and 5) was observed in 41.9% (18 of 43). No tendency towards either increased or decreased incidence in favourable outcome was found relative to the time from admission to DC.Six of the 18 patients (33.3%) with favourable outcome were operated on within the first 6 h. DC lowers ICP and raises CPP to high normal levels in survivors compared to non-survivors.The timing of DC showed no clear trend, for either good neurological outcome or death. Overall, the survival rate of 74.4% is promising and 41.9% had favourable neurological outcome.
    Injury 09/2010; 41(9):894-8. · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to assess the microbiological profile, antimicrobial susceptibility, and adequacy of the empiric antibiotic therapy in surgical site infections (SSI) following traumatic hollow viscus injury (HVI). This is a retrospective study of patients admitted with an HVI from March 2003 to July 2009. SSI was defined as a wound infection or intra-abdominal collection confirmed by positive cultures and requiring percutaneous or surgical drainage. A total of 91 of 667 (13.6%) patients with an HVI developed an SSI confirmed by positive culture. Mean age was 33.0 +/- 14.1 years, mean Injury Severity Score (ISS) was 17.7 +/- 9.6, 91.2% were male, and 80.2% had sustained penetrating injuries. The SSI consisted of 65 intra-abdominal collections and 26 wound infections requiring intervention. The most commonly isolated species in the presence of a colonic injury was Escherichia coli (64.7%), Enterococcus spp. (41.2%), and Bacteroides (29.4%), and in the absence of a colonic perforation, Enterococcus spp. and Enterobacter cloacae (both 38.9%). Susceptibility rates of E. coli and E. cloacae, respectively, were 38% and 8% for ampicillin/sulbactam, 82% and 4% for cefazolin, 96% and 92% for cefoxitin, with both 92% to piperacillin/tazobactam, and 100% to ertapenem. The initial empirical antibiotic therapy adequately targeted the pathogens in 51.6% of patients who developed an SSI. The distribution of the microorganisms isolated from SSIs differed significantly according to whether or not a colonic injury was present. Empiric antibiotic treatment was inadequate in upwards of 50% of patients who developed an SSI. Further investigation is warranted to determine the optimal empiric antibiotic regimen for reducing the rate of postoperative SSI.
    Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery 05/2010; 14(8):1304-10. · 2.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genetic variation is associated with outcome disparity in critical illness. We sought to determine if race is independently associated with the development of posttraumatic sepsis and subsequent related mortality. Our Intensive Care Unit database was queried for admissions from January 1, 2000 to June 30, 2007. Patients were prospectively followed for sepsis (Any four of the following symptoms: temperature > or =38 degrees C, heart rate (HR) > or =90 b/m, RR > or =20 b/m (or PaCO2 < or =32 mm Hg), white blood cell count (WBC) > or =12, or vasopressor requirement all with an infectious source). White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian groups were defined. "Other" race was excluded. Most of the 3998 study patients were male (3157, 79.0%). Blunt trauma (2661, 66.6%) predominated. Six-hundred-seventy-seven (16.9%) met sepsis criteria. Mortality was 14.0 per cent (560). Sepsis was increased in Asians versus all others combined (23.7% vs. 16.1%). Race was independently associated with sepsis (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.12 (1.01-1.24), P value = 0.03). Sepsis associated mortality was 36.9 per cent (250/677). Black race demonstrated an increased survival versus all others after sepsis (25.4% vs. 37.7%) but this was not statistically significant (adjusted OR 0.96 (0.73-1.18), P value = 0.71). Race is independently associated with posttraumatic sepsis and possibly subsequent sepsis associated mortality. Further related study is needed with the ultimate goal of genetically based treatments for the prevention and treatment of sepsis after injury.
    The American surgeon 01/2010; 76(1):43-7. · 0.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The rate of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections has increased significantly over the last years, especially from community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) sources. The true prevalence of these multidrug-resistant infections among the trauma patient population, however, is not well defined. A retrospective review of our surgical intensive care unit (SICU) database from April 2003 to April 2007 was performed to identify all trauma patients surviving 48 hours or more that had a positive culture result during their SICU stay. The results of the cultures were examined. A total of 582 SICU patients with 2,860 cultures were assessed for MRSA infection. Among these, 368 cultures (12.9%) in 36 patients were reported as MRSA positive. Thirteen of these patients fulfilled the criteria for a CA-MRSA infection. When outcomes were analyzed, no significant difference in mortality (8.7% vs 15.4%, P = 0.540) or hospital related charges ($364,231 +/- 323,719 vs $242,458 +/- 276,630, P = 0.091) was noted. Patients with a hospital-acquired MRSA infection, however, had longer hospital lengths of stay (42.7 +/- 47.1 vs 25.3 +/- 31.1, P = 0.037) than their community-associated counterparts. MRSA constitutes an important source of infection among critically ill trauma patients. CA-MRSA organisms may play an increasing pathogenic role in this population.
    The American surgeon 11/2009; 75(11):1077-80. · 0.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the availability of effective treatments for posttraumatic stress reactions after serious physical injuries, many sufferers do not use mental health services. Attempts to understand the factors that facilitate mental health service use have often focused on patient-related factors without assessing provider behavior. To examine the relative influence of patient-related factors and physician referral on mental health service utilization among patients after a traumatic physical injury. A fully structured interview was administered prospectively by trained lay persons to Los Angeles Country trauma center injury patients. A total of 677 patients completed an initial interview. Of those who completed an initial interview, 70% (n = 476) completed a 6-month follow-up interview and 68% (n = 462) completed a 12-month interview. We examined 3 classes of patient characteristics hypothesized to be related to mental health service use: need (eg, posttraumatic stress symptoms), predisposing factors (eg, gender), and enabling resources (eg, health insurance). Additionally, we looked at physician referral to mental health treatment as a provider behavior hypothesized to predict service use. Age, posttraumatic stress disorder symptom severity, previous mental health treatment, and physician referral were all associated with mental health service use. Physician referral demonstrated the strongest relationship with mental health service utilization. While controlling for other factors, the odds of mental health service use were nearly 8 times higher for those respondents receiving a physician referral than for those without a referral. Findings highlight the importance of physician referral in facilitating access to mental health services for trauma injury survivors.
    Medical care 08/2009; 47(10):1077-83. · 3.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The misuse of alcohol and illicit drugs is implicated with injury and repeat injury. Admission to a trauma center provides an opportunity to identify patients with substance use problems and initiate intervention and prevention strategies. To facilitate the identification of trauma patients with substance use problems, we studied alcohol abuse and illegal substance use patterns in a large cohort of urban trauma patients, identified correlates of alcohol abuse, and assessed the utility of a single item binge-drinking screener for identifying patients with past 12-month substance use problems. Between February 2004 and August 2006, 677 patients from four large trauma centers in Los Angeles County were interviewed. The sample was broadly representative of the entire Los Angeles County trauma center patient population. Twenty-four percent of patients met criteria for alcohol abuse and 15% reported using an illegal drug other than marijuana in the past 12 months. Male gender, assaultive injury, peritrauma substance use, and history of binge drinking were prominent risk factors. A single item binge drinking screen correctly identified alcohol abuse status in 76% of all patients; the screen also performed moderately well in discriminating between those who had or had not used illegal drugs in the past 12 months, with sensitivity estimates reaching 0.79 and specificity estimates reaching 0.74. A large proportion of urban trauma patients abuse alcohol and use illegal drugs. Distinct sociodemographic and substance use history may indicate underlying risky behaviors. Interventions and injury prevention programs need to address these causal behaviors to reduce injury morbidity and recidivism. In the busy trauma care setting, a one-item screener could be helpful in identifying patients who would benefit from more thorough assessment and possible brief intervention.
    The Journal of trauma 06/2009; 66(5):1461-7. · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several authors have examined the relationship between outcomes following severe trauma and American College of Surgeons (ACS) trauma centre designation. Little is known, however, about the association between ACS level and outcomes following complications of trauma. The National Trauma Databank (NTDB, v. 5.0) was queried to identify adult (age > or =18) trauma patients developing post-traumatic ARDS, who were admitted to either ACS level 1 or level 2 trauma centres from 2000 to 2004. Patients transferred between institutions and injuries following burns were excluded. Univariate analysis was used to assess differences between those patients admitted to ACS level 1 and level 2 facilities. Adjusted mortality was derived using logistic regression analysis. A total of 902 adult trauma patients with ARDS after 48 h of mechanical ventilation were identified from the NTDB. Five hundred and thirty six patients were admitted to a level 1 ACS verified centre and 366 to a level 2 facility. Univariate analysis revealed no statistical differences in clinical and demographic characteristics between the two groups. On univariate comparison, patients admitted to level 1 facilities had longer mean hospital and ICU length of stay and higher hospital related charges than level 2 counterparts. Patients admitted to a level 1 centre were, however, significantly more likely to achieve discharge to home. Using multivariate logistic regression, ACS level designation was shown to have no statistical effect on mortality. Hypotension on admission and age greater than 55 were the only independent predictors of mortality. ACS trauma centre designation level is not an independent predictor of mortality following post-traumatic ARDS.
    Injury 03/2009; 40(8):856-9. · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The association between hospital volume and outcomes following mechanical ventilation has been previously examined in diverse patient populations. The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma has outlined criteria for trauma centre level designations with specific requirements for both specialty capabilities and hospital volume. Our objective is to determine the relationship between ACS centre designation and outcomes for trauma patients undergoing mechanical ventilation. We conducted a retrospective cohort study using the National Trauma Databank (NTDB), identifying 13,933 adult (age>or=18) trauma patients receiving mechanical ventilation for greater than 48 h from 2000 to 2004 who were admitted to either an ACS Level I or Level II trauma centre. The primary endpoints examined were mortality, pneumonia and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). Univariate analysis defined differences between those patients admitted to ACS Level I and Level II facilities. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify if ACS level designation was an independent risk factor for the goal outcomes. Patients admitted to a Level I facility and mechanically ventilated for greater than 48 h were more commonly greater than age 55 (71.3% vs. 67.9%, p<0.01), hypotensive (SBP<90) (16.1% vs. 12.8%, p<0.01), and likely to have sustained injury due to penetrating mechanism (11.1% vs. 5.1%, p<0.01). On univariate analysis, mortality and the incidence of pneumonia did not differ between the two groups. Level I admission was, however, less commonly associated with the development of ARDS (5.8% vs. 7.7%, p<0.01) and patients admitted to Level I facilities were significantly more likely to be discharged to home than Level II counterparts (29.7% vs. 22.9%, p<0.01). Logistic regression revealed that, while ACS Level designation was not a predictive factor for mortality or the development of pneumonia, admission to an ACS Level II facility was an independent predictor for the development of ARDS [p<0.01, odds ratio, 95% CI: 1.35 (1.18-1.59)]. For trauma patients requiring mechanical ventilation for >48 h, ACS trauma centre designation had no effect on overall mortality or the incidence of pneumonia. Compared to Level I counterparts, however, patients admitted to an ACS Level II facility were significantly more likely to develop ARDS following trauma. This finding needs further investigation in a large, prospective analysis.
    Injury 03/2009; 40(7):708-12. · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The importance of tight glycaemic control has gained acceptance over the last 5 years as a critical component of routine intensive care unit (ICU) measures. In an environment already strained for resources and staffing, however, effective strategies providing for increased input and responsibility of bedside nursing personnel are paramount to successful implementation. Increasing input and responsibilities of ICU nursing staff in tight glycaemic control policies improves glucose control in the trauma ICU. After Institutional Review Board approval, we conducted a prospective "before-after" trial examining the effect of nursing education and input on outcome of a tight (goal 80-120 mg/dL) glycaemic control protocol. After a three month assessment of compliance with a previously physician-developed protocol, an educational in-service was conducted for all trauma ICU nursing staff. Nursing staff were then asked to provide input on the development of a new protocol using multiple-choice ballots to define 7 components of protocol criteria. Using nursing input, we developed and implemented a new glycaemic protocol that shifted much of the responsibility for initiation and subsequent adjustment of insulin infusion to the bedside nurse, allowing them to more liberally utilise their bedside clinical judgment and knowledge of the specific patient. Nursing input on seven factors of protocol criteria did not differ significantly from the previously existing protocol, except with reference to nursing desire for increased responsibility in the implementation and maintenance of tight glycaemic control. After three months implementation of a new protocol developed utilising nursing input, both mean blood glucose levels achieved (137.8 mg/dL vs. 128.2mg/dL, p=0.028) and time to first hourly blood glucose within goal range (<120 mg/dL) was improved (36 h vs. 9h). The number of hypoglycaemic (BS <60) episodes increased slightly after revision (1 event vs. 5 event), with no hypoglycaemic seizures or coma occurring during either period. Nursing input and increased responsibility improved the results of a tight glycaemic control in our trauma ICU. Increasing nursing input in the development and implementation of a tight glycaemic policies can result in safe and effective improved glucose control in the trauma ICU.
    Intensive & critical care nursing: the official journal of the British Association of Critical Care Nurses 02/2009; 25(2):101-7.
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    ABSTRACT: To describe early effects of sympathetic (SNS) and parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) activities measured by heart rate (HR) and respiratory rate variabilities simultaneously with noninvasive hemodynamic patterns in patients with blunt and penetrating trauma. Descriptive study of 168 monitored trauma patients in a level I university-run trauma service. We studied HR and respiratory rate variability by spectral analysis as a measure of autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity in severe blunt and penetrating injuries beginning shortly after their admission to the emergency department. The low frequency area is the area under the HR spectral analysis curve within the frequency range of 0.04 Hz to 0.10 Hz. This area primarily reflects the tone of the SNS as mediated by the vagus nerve. The respiratory frequency area, sometimes referred to as the high frequency area, is a 0.12 Hz-wide frequency range centered around the fundamental respiratory frequency defined by the peak mode of the respiratory activity power spectrum. It is indicative of vagal outflow reflecting PSNS activity. The low frequency area/respiratory frequency area, or L/R ratio, reflects the balance of the SNS and the PSNS. ANS was studied simultaneously with noninvasive hemodynamic patterns after blunt and penetrating thoracic or abdominal injury beginning shortly after admission. We measured cardiac index by bioimpedance, HR, and mean arterial pressure (MAP) to evaluate cardiac function, pulse oximetry (SapO2) to reflect changes in respiratory function, and transcutaneous oxygen indexed to fractional inspired oxygen (PtcO2/FIO2) to reflect tissue perfusion. ANS activity markedly increased especially in the nonsurvivors at 12 hours to 24 hours after admission. Compared with survivors, the nonsurvivors had lower MAP, CI, and PtcO2/FIO2 values associated with increased ANS activity. In the nonsurvivors, low flow, low MAP, and reduced tissue perfusion were associated with pronounced increases in PSNS and lesser increases in SNS activity. In the survivors, higher CI, MAP, and PtcO2/FIO2 values were associated with lesser increases in both PSNS and SNS activities.
    The Journal of trauma 01/2009; 65(6):1364-73. · 2.35 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
355.81 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013
    • University of Maryland Medical Center
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1996–2013
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      • Department of Surgery
      Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 2012
    • University of Maryland, Baltimore
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1997–2012
    • University of Southern California
      • Department of Surgery
      Los Angeles, California, United States
  • 2009
    • Brooks Rand
      Seattle, Washington, United States
  • 2002–2009
    • RAND Corporation
      Santa Monica, California, United States
  • 2001
    • Kothari Medical Centre
      Kolkata, Bengal, India
  • 2000–2001
    • Hadassah Medical Center
      • Department of Surgery
      Yerushalayim, Jerusalem District, Israel
    • Keck School of Medicine USC
      Los Angeles, California, United States
  • 1999
    • Hebrew University of Jerusalem
      Yerushalayim, Jerusalem District, Israel