Joshua B Brown

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

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Publications (24)56.34 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Clinical research characterizing the mechanisms responsible for sex-based outcome differences after injury remains conflicting. Currently lacking is an understanding of the early sex hormone milieu of the injured patient and the effects these early hormone differences have on clinical outcomes and the innate immune response following injury. A prospective cohort study was performed over a 20-month period. Blunt injury patients requiring intensive care unit admission were enrolled. Samples were collected within 6 hours and at 24 hours after injury and were analyzed for total testosterone (TT) and estradiol concentrations. Outcomes of interest included multiple-organ failure (MOF; Marshall Multiple Organ Dysfunction Score [MODScore] > 5), nosocomial infection (NI), mortality, and serial cytokine/chemokine measurements. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the independent risks associated with early sex hormone measurements. In 288 prospectively enrolled patients, 69% were male, with a median Injury Severity Score (ISS) of 16 (interquartile range 10-21). Elevated TT levels at 6 hours were associated with elevated interleukin 6 levels and cytokine/chemokine measurements (18 of 24 measured). Rising TT levels were significantly associated with more than a fivefold and twofold higher independent risk of MOF and NI, respectively (odds ratio [OR], 5.2; p = 0.02; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-22.3; and OR, 2.1; p = 0.03; 95% CI, 1.02-4.2). At 24 hours, TT levels were no longer associated with poor outcome, while estradiol levels were significantly associated with nearly a fourfold higher independent risk of MOF (OR, 3.9; p = 0.04, 95% CI, 1.05-13). Early elevations and increasing testosterone levels over initial 24 hours after injury are associated with an exaggerated inflammatory response and a significantly greater risk of MOF and NI. High estrogen levels at 24 hours are independently associated with an increased risk of MOF. The current analysis suggests that an early evolving testosterone to estrogen hormonal environment is associated with a significantly higher independent risk of poor outcome following traumatic injury. Prognostic/epidemiologic study, level II.
    Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 03/2015; 78(3):451-8. DOI:10.1097/TA.0000000000000550 · 1.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Hemorrhage and trauma induced coagulopathy remain major drivers of early preventable mortality in military and civilian trauma. Interest in the use of prehospital plasma in hemorrhaging patients as a primary resuscitation agent has grown recently. Trauma center-based damage control resuscitation using early and aggressive plasma transfusion has consistently demonstrated improved outcomes in hemorrhaging patients. Additionally, plasma has been shown to have several favorable immunomodulatory effects. Preliminary evidence with prehospital plasma transfusion has demonstrated feasibility and improved short-term outcomes. Applying state-of-the-art resuscitation strategies to the civilian prehospital arena is compelling. We describe here the rationale, design, and challenges of the Prehospital Air Medical Plasma (PAMPer) trial. The primary objective is to determine the effect of prehospital plasma transfusion during air medical transport on 30-day mortality in patients at risk for traumatic hemorrhage. This study is a multicenter cluster randomized clinical trial. The trial will enroll trauma patients with profound hypotension (SBP ≤ 70 mmHg) or hypotension (SBP 71-90 mmHg) and tachycardia (HR ≥ 108 bpm) from six level I trauma center air medical transport programs. The trial will also explore the effects of prehospital plasma transfusion on the coagulation and inflammatory response following injury. The trial will be conducted under exception for informed consent for emergency research with an investigational new drug approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration utilizing a multipronged community consultation process. It is one of three ongoing Department of Defense-funded trials aimed at expanding our understanding of the optimal therapeutic approaches to coagulopathy in the hemorrhaging trauma patient.
    Prehospital Emergency Care 02/2015; DOI:10.3109/10903127.2014.995851 · 1.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Undertriage is a concern in geriatric patients. The National Trauma Triage Protocol (NTTP) recognized that systolic blood pressure (SBP) less than 110 mm Hg may represent shock in those older than 65 years. The objective was to evaluate the impact of substituting an SBP of less than 110 mm Hg for the current SBP of less than 90 mm Hg criterion within the NTTP on triage performance and mortality. Subjects undergoing scene transport in the National Trauma Data Bank (2010-2012) were included. The outcome of trauma center need was defined as Injury Severity Score (ISS) greater than 15, intensive care unit admission, urgent operation, or emergency department death. Geriatric (age > 65 years) and adult (age, 16-65 years) cohorts were compared. Triage characteristics and area under the curve (AUC) were compared between SBP of less than 110 mm Hg and SBP of less than 90 mm Hg. Hierarchical logistic regression was used to determine whether geriatric patients newly triaged positive under this change (SBP, 90-109 mm Hg) have a risk of mortality similar to those triaged positive with SBP of less than 90 mm Hg. There were 1,555,944 subjects included. SBP of less than 110 mm Hg had higher sensitivity but lower specificity in geriatric (13% vs. 5%, 93% vs. 99%) and adult (23% vs. 10%, 90% vs. 98%) cohorts. AUC was higher for SBP of less than 110 mm Hg individually in both geriatric and adult (p < 0.01) cohorts. Within the NTTP, the AUC was similar for SBP of less than 110 mm Hg and SBP of less than 90 mm Hg in geriatric subjects but was higher for SBP of less than 90 mm Hg in adult subjects (p < 0.01). Substituting SBP of less than 110 mm Hg resulted in an undertriage reduction of 4.4% with overtriage increase of 4.3% in the geriatric cohort. Geriatric subjects with SBP of 90 mm Hg to 109 mm Hg had an odds of mortality similar to those of geriatric patients with SBP of less than 90 mm Hg (adjusted odds ratio, 1.03; 95% confidence interval, 0.88-1.20; p = 0.71). SBP of less than 110 mm Hg increases sensitivity. SBP of less than 110 mm Hg has discrimination as good as that of SBP of less than 90 mm Hg, with superior improvements in undertriage relative to overtriage in geriatric patients. Geriatric patients newly triaged to be positive under this change have a risk of mortality similar to those under the current SBP criterion. This change in SBP criteria may be merited in geriatric patients, warranting further study to consider elevation to a Step 1 criterion in the NTTP. Diagnostic study, level IV.
    Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 02/2015; 78(2):352-359. DOI:10.1097/TA.0000000000000523 · 1.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hemorrhage is the leading cause of survivable death in trauma and resuscitation strategies including early RBC transfusion have reduced this. Pre-trauma center (PTC) RBC transfusion is growing and preliminary evidence suggests improved outcomes. The study objective was to evaluate the association of PTC RBC transfusion with outcomes in air medical trauma patients. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of trauma patients transported by helicopter to a Level I trauma center from 2007 to 2012. Patients receiving PTC RBC transfusion were matched to control patients (receiving no PTC RBC transfusion during transport) in a 1:2 ratio using a propensity score based on prehospital variables. Conditional logistic regression and mixed-effects linear regression were used to determine the association of PTC RBC transfusion with outcomes. Subgroup analysis was performed for scene transport patients. Two-hundred and forty treatment patients were matched to 480 control patients receiving no PTC RBC transfusion. Pre-trauma center RBC transfusion was associated with increased odds of 24-hour survival (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 4.92; 95% CI, 1.51-16.04; p = 0.01), lower odds of shock (AOR = 0.28; 95% CI, 0.09-0.85; p = 0.03), and lower 24-hour RBC requirement (Coefficient -3.6 RBC units; 95% CI, -7.0 to -0.2; p = 0.04). Among matched scene patients, PTC RBC was also associated with increased odds of 24-hour survival (AOR = 6.31; 95% CI, 1.88-21.14; p < 0.01), lower odds of shock (AOR = 0.24; 95% CI, 0.07-0.80; p = 0.02), and lower 24-hour RBC requirement (Coefficient -4.5 RBC units; 95% CI, -8.3 to -0.7; p = 0.02). Pre-trauma center RBC was associated with an increased probability of 24-hour survival, decreased risk of shock, and lower 24-hour RBC requirement. Pre-trauma center RBC appears beneficial in severely injured air medical trauma patients and prospective study is warranted as PTC RBC transfusion becomes more readily available. Copyright © 2015 American College of Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of the American College of Surgeons 01/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2015.01.006 · 4.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Evaluate the effect of US geographic region on outcomes of helicopter transport (HT) for trauma. Background: HT is an integral component of trauma systems. Evidence suggests that HT is associated with improved outcomes; however, no studies examine the impact of geographic variation on outcomes for HT. Methods: Retrospective cohort study of patients undergoing scene HT or ground transport in the National Trauma Databank (2009-2012). Subjects were divided by US census region. HT and ground transport subjects were propensity-score matched based on prehospital physiology and injury severity. Conditional logistic regression was used to evaluate the effect of HT on survival and discharge to home in each region. Region-level characteristics were assessed as potential explanatory factors. Results: A total of 193,629 pairs were matched. HT was associated with increased odds of survival and discharge to home; however, the magnitude of these effects varied significantly across regions (P < 0.01). The South had the greatest survival benefit (odds ratio: 1.44; 95% confidence interval: 1.39-1.49, P < 0.01) and the Northeast had the greatest discharge to home benefit (odds ratio: 1.29; 95% confidence interval: 1.18-1.41, P < 0.01). A subset of region-level characteristics influenced the effect of HT on each outcome, including helicopter utilization, injury severity, trauma center and helicopter distribution, trauma center access, traffic congestion, and urbanicity (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Geographic region impacts the benefits of HT in trauma. Variations in resource allocation partially account for outcome differences. Policy makers should consider regional factors to better assess and allocate resources within trauma systems to optimize the role of HT.
    Annals of Surgery 01/2015; DOI:10.1097/SLA.0000000000001047 · 7.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To determine whether prehospital nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use may lead to a reduced incidence of trauma-induced coagulopathy (TIC) in severely injured patients. Background: TIC is present in up to a quarter of severely injured trauma patients and is linked to worse outcomes after injury. Evidence linking TIC to inflammation has emerged; however, the mechanism behind this association is still under investigation. NSAIDs are commonly used anti-inflammatory drugs, but their effects on TIC and outcomes after injury are largely unexplored. Methods: We performed a secondary analysis of the Inflammation and the Host Response to Injury Large Scale Collaborative Program (Glue Grant) data set. Prehospital medications and comorbidities were analyzed by logistic regression analysis for association with TIC as defined by laboratory (international normalized ratio >1.5) or clinical (transfusion >2 units of fresh frozen plasma or >1 pack of platelets in 6 hours) parameters. Results: Prehospital NSIAD use was independently associated with a 72% lower risk of TIC and was the only medication among 15 analyzed to retain significance in the model. Stepwise logistic regression also demonstrated that preadmission use of NSAIDs was independently associated with a 66% lower risk of clinically significant coagulopathy. These findings were independent of comorbid conditions linked to NSAID use. Conclusions: NSAID use before admission for severe injury is associated with a reduced incidence of TIC. These findings provide further evidence to a potential leak between TIC and inflammation.
    Annals of Surgery 08/2014; 260(2). DOI:10.1097/SLA.0000000000000526 · 7.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hemorrhage and coagulopathy remain major drivers of early preventable mortality in military and civilian trauma. The development of trauma-induced coagulopathy and hyperfibrinolysis is associated with poor outcomes. Interest in the use of tranexamic acid (TXA) in hemorrhaging patients as an antifibrinolytic agent has grown recently. Additionally, several reports describe immunomodulatory effects of TXA that may confer benefit independent of its antifibrinolytic actions. A large trial demonstrated a mortality benefit for early TXA administration in patients at risk for hemorrhage; however, questions remain about the applicability in developed trauma systems and the mechanism by which TXA reduces mortality. We describe here the rationale, design, and challenges of the Study of Tranexamic Acid during Air Medical Prehospital transport (STAAMP) trial. The primary objective is to determine the effect of prehospital TXA infusion during air medical transport on 30-day mortality in patients at risk of traumatic hemorrhage. This study is a multicenter, placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized clinical trial. The trial will enroll trauma patients with hypotension and tachycardia from 4 level I trauma center air medical transport programs. It includes a 2-phase intervention, with a prehospital and in-hospital phase to investigate multiple dosing regimens. The trial will also explore the effects of TXA on the coagulation and inflammatory response following injury. The trial will be conducted under exception for informed consent for emergency research and thus required an investigational new drug approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as well as a community consultation process. It was designed to address several existing knowledge gaps and research priorities regarding TXA use in trauma.
    Prehospital Emergency Care 07/2014; 19(1). DOI:10.3109/10903127.2014.936635 · 1.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ideal triage uses simple criteria to identify severely injured patients. Glasgow Coma Scale motor (GCSm) may be easier for field use and was considered for the National Trauma Triage Protocol (NTTP). This study evaluated performance of the NTTP if GCSm is substituted for the current GCS score ≤ 13 criterion.
    Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 07/2014; 77(1):95-102. DOI:10.1097/TA.0000000000000280 · 1.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the association of pretrauma center (PTC) red blood cell (RBC) transfusion with outcomes in severely injured patients. Hemorrhage remains a major driver of mortality. Little evidence exists supporting PTC interventions to mitigate this. Blunt injured patients in shock arriving at a trauma center within 2 hours of injury were included from the Glue Grant database. Subjects were dichotomized by PTC RBC transfusion. Outcomes included 24-hour mortality, 30-day mortality, and trauma-induced coagulopathy [(TIC), admission international normalized ratio >1.5]. Cox regression and logistic regression determined the association of PTC RBC transfusion with outcomes. To address baseline differences, propensity score matching was used. Of 1415 subjects, 50 received PTC RBC transfusion. Demographics and injury severity score were similar. The PTC RBC group received 1.3 units of RBCs (median), and 52% were scene transports. PTC RBC transfusion was associated with a 95% reduction in odds of 24-hour mortality [odds ratio (OR) = 0.05; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.01-0.48; P < 0.01], 64% reduction in the risk of 30-day mortality [hazard ratio = 0.36; 95% CI, 0.15-0.83; P = 0.02], and 88% reduction in odds of TIC (OR = 0.12; 95% CI, 0.02-0.79; P = 0.03). The matched cohort included 113 subjects (31% PTC RBC group). Baseline characteristics were similar. PTC RBC transfusion was associated with a 98% reduction in odds of 24-hour mortality (OR = 0.02; 95% CI, 0.01-0.69; P = 0.04), 88% reduction in the risk of 30-day mortality (hazard ratio = 0.12; 95% CI, 0.03-0.61; P = 0.01), and 99% reduction in odds of TIC (OR = 0.01; 95% CI, 0.01-0.95; P = 0.05). PTC RBC administration was associated with a lower risk of 24-hour mortality, 30-day mortality, and TIC in severely injured patients with blunt trauma, warranting further prospective study.
    Annals of surgery 03/2014; DOI:10.1097/SLA.0000000000000674 · 7.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite a shift toward nonoperative management (NOM) of blunt liver trauma, severe injuries continue to require operative management. Our objective was to examine current trends of NOM for severe blunt liver injury from a national perspective. Patients with blunt liver injury with Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) score of 4 or greater and no other major solid organ injury or pelvic fracture were identified in the National Trauma Data Bank 2002 to 2008. Attempted NOM was defined as no surgery in 6 hours or less. Failed NOM was defined as surgery in greater than 6 hours. Cox regression evaluated the association of NOM outcome with 30-day mortality after controlling for injury severity and center. Logistic regression was used to define independent predictors of failed NOM. Annual attempted and failed NOM rates were compared during the study period. A total of 3,627 patients were identified with a median Injury Severity Score (ISS) of 29 (interquartile range, 20-38) and 20% mortality. Early operative management occurred in 20%, while initial NOM occurred in 73% of the patients. Of these, 93% had successful NOM, and 7% had failed NOM. Failed NOM was an independent predictor of mortality (hazard ratio, 1.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-2.6; p = 0.01). Increasing age, male sex, increasing ISS, decreasing Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, hypotension, and hepatic angioembolization were independent predictors of failed NOM. The rate of attempted and failed NOM increased during the study period (p < 0.01). NOM for isolated severe blunt liver injury is increasing nationally with similar increment in failure. Failed NOM was associated with higher mortality. Several predictors of failed NOM were identified including age, sex, ISS, GCS, and hypotension. These factors may allow for better patient selection and improved outcomes. Therapeutic study, level IV; prognostic/epidemiologic study, level III.
    10/2013; 75(4):590-5. DOI:10.1097/TA.0b013e3182a53a3e
  • Joshua B Brown, Mark L Gestring
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    ABSTRACT: Helicopter transport (HT) has evolved from military roots into a critical component of trauma systems throughout the world. Concerns over cost and safety continue to challenge the role of HT in the civilian setting. Despite this, recent evidence has demonstrated a survival advantage for trauma patients undergoing HT. For patients transported from the scene of injury, improved survival has been shown in several multicenter studies as well as evaluation of large national databases. Issues of overtriage, however, remain problematic for scene HT and represent a prime area for future research in helicopter emergency medical systems (EMS). Patients undergoing inter-facility transfer have also been shown to have improved outcomes over ground transport in terms of shorter transfer times and increased survival particularly in more severely injured patients. The benefits seen are likely a result of a combination of rapid transport, advanced medical capabilities, and accessibility to remote terrain. Several subgroups of patients undergoing HT have been the subject of study as well. Patients with severe head injury have consistently been shown to have superior outcomes over ground ambulance, attributable to improvements in airway management early in the course of their injury. Conversely, HT for urban and penetrating injury has not seen similar benefits, likely due to proximity of trauma centers and recent advancements in urban EMS systems. The benefits of including physicians in helicopter crews are less clear and vary by region and system. Helicopter transport for trauma does appear to improve outcomes for trauma patients, and optimizing utilization of this valuable resource will be key as the role of helicopter EMS continues to develop within trauma systems.
    Trauma 10/2013; 15(4):279-288. DOI:10.1177/1460408613497153
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    ABSTRACT: Single-center experience has shown that American College of Surgeons (ACS) trauma verification can improve outcomes. The current objective was to compare mortality between ACS-verified and state-designated centers in a national sample. Subjects 16 years or older from ACS-verified or state-designated Level I and II centers were identified in the National Trauma Databank 2007 to 2008. A predictive mortality model was constructed using Trauma Quality Improvement Project methodology. Imputation was used for missing data. Probability of mortality in the model determined expected deaths. Observed-to-expected (O/E) mortality ratios with 90% confidence interval (CI) and outliers (90% CI more than or less than 1.0) were compared across ACS and state Level I and II centers. The mortality model was repeated with ACS versus state included. There were 900,274 subjects. The model had an area under the curve of 0.92 to predict death. Level I ACS centers had a lower median O/E ratio compared with state centers (0.95 [interquartile range, 0.82-1.05] vs. 1.02 [interquartile range, 0.87-1.15]; p < 0.01), with no difference in Level II centers. Level II state centers had more high O/E outliers. ACS verification was an independent predictor of survival in Level II centers (odds ratio, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.20-1.32; p < 0.01) but not in Level I centers (p = 0.84). Level II centers have a disproportionate number of high mortality outliers, and ACS verification is a predictor of survival. Level I ACS centers have lower O/E ratios overall, but no difference in outliers. ACS verification seems beneficial. These data suggest that Level II centers benefit most, and promoting Level II ACS verification may be an opportunity for improved outcomes. Prognostic study, level III.
    07/2013; 75(1):44-9. DOI:10.1097/TA.0b013e3182988729
  • Joshua B Brown, Jason L Sperry
    01/2013; 74(1):345-6. DOI:10.1097/TA.0b013e318278c7e7
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The scope of prehospital (PH) interventions has expanded recently—not always with clear benefit. PH crystalloid resuscitation has been challenged, particularly in penetrating trauma. Optimal PH crystalloid resuscitation strategies remain unclear in blunt trauma as does the influence of PH hypotension. The objective was to characterize outcomes for PH crystalloid volume in patients with and without PH hypotension. METHODS: Data were obtained from a multicenter prospective study of blunt injured adults transported from the scene with ISS > 15. Subjects were divided into HIGH (>500 mL) and LOW (≤500 mL) PH crystalloid groups. Propensity-adjusted regression determined the association of PH crystalloid group with mortality and acute coagulopathy (admission International Normalized Ratio, >1.5) in subjects with and without PH hypotension (systolic blood pressure [SBP], <90 mm Hg) after controlling for confounders. RESULTS: Of 1,216 subjects, 822 (68%) received HIGH PH crystalloid and 616 (51%) had PH hypotension. Initial base deficit and ISS were similar between HIGH and LOW crystalloid groups in subjects with and without PH hypotension. In subjects without PH hypotension, HIGH crystalloid was associated with an increase in the risk of mortality (hazard ratio, 2.5; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.3–4.9; p < 0.01) and acute coagulopathy (odds ratio [OR], 2.2; 95% CI, 1.01–4.9; p = 0.04) but not in subjects with PH hypotension. HIGH crystalloid was associated with correction of PH hypotension on emergency department (ED) arrival (OR, 2.02; 95% CI, 1.06–3.88; p = 0.03). The mean corrected SBP in the ED was 104 mm Hg. Each 1 mm Hg increase in ED SBP was associated with a 2% increase in survival in subjects with PH hypotension (OR, 1.02; 95% CI, 1.01–1.03; p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: In severely injured blunt trauma patients, PH crystalloid more than 500 mL was associated with worse outcome in patients without PH hypotension but not with PH hypotension. HIGH crystalloid was associated with corrected PH hypotension. This suggests that PH resuscitation should be goal directed based on the presence or absence of PH hypotension. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic study, level III.
    Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 01/2013; 74(5):1207-1214. DOI:10.1097/TA.0b013e31828c44fd · 1.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Acute traumatic coagulopathy (ATC) predicts poor outcome after injury. Females have been demonstrated to be hypercoagulable early in the posttrauma period. It remains unclear whether presence of ATC alters sex-based outcomes after injury. This study's objective was to characterize the sex dimorphism after severe injury in the presence and absence of ATC. METHODS: Data were obtained from a multicenter prospective cohort study of patients with blunt trauma and hemorrhagic shock. ATC was defined as arrival international normalized ratio (INR) of greater than 1.5. Cox regression was used to determine the independent risks of mortality and multiple-organ failure associated with sex in subjects with ATC and without (non-ATC) while controlling for important confounders. The sex mortality differences were characterized over time to determine at what point after injury any differential risks diverge. RESULTS: Of 2,007 enrolled subjects, 1,877 had an arrival INR with 439 (23%) having ATC. There was no difference in incidence of ATC across sex (24% vs. 23%; p = 0.95). In the ATC group, no difference in Injury Severity Score, arrival INR, base deficit, temperature, or 24-hour blood requirements were found across sex. Cox hazard regression revealed that sex was not associated with mortality in non-ATC patients (hazard ratio, 0.94; 95% confidence interval, 0.6-1.5). Female sex was independently associated with mortality only in the ATC group (hazard ratio, 2.04; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-3.9; p = 0.03). These mortality risk differences across sex diverged within the first 24 hours after injury. CONCLUSION: An exaggerated sex dimorphism exists for patients with ATC, with females demonstrating a twofold higher independent risk of mortality. These differential mortality risks across sex diverge early after injury, suggesting that they may be caused by an ongoing hemorrhage. Females who present with ATC at admission have a significantly greater risk of poor outcome. Further studies are warranted to explore the mechanisms responsible for sex dimorphism in the setting of ATC. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Prognostic study, level II.
    10/2012; DOI:10.1097/TA.0b013e31825b9f05
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    ABSTRACT: Controversy surrounds the optimal ratios of blood (packed red blood cell [PRBC]), plasma (fresh frozen plasma [FFP]) and platelet (PLT) use for patients requiring massive transfusion (MT) owing to possible survival bias in previous studies. We sought to characterize mortality during the first 24 hours while controlling for time varying effects of transfusion to minimize survival bias. Data were obtained from a multicenter prospective cohort study of adults with blunt injury and hemorrhagic shock. MT was defined as 10 U of PRBC or more over 24 hours. High FFP/PRBC (≥1:1.5) and PLT/PRBC (≥1:9) ratios at 6, 12, and 24 hours were compared with low ratio groups. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to determine the independent association of high versus low ratios with mortality at 6, 12, and 24 hours while controlling for important confounders. Cox proportional hazards regression was repeated with FFP/PRBC and PLT/PRBC ratios analyzed as time-dependent covariates to account for fluctuation over time. Mortality for more than 24 hours was treated as survival. In the MT cohort (n = 604), initial base deficit, lactate, and international normalized ratio were similar across high and low ratio groups. High 6-hour FFP/PRBC and PLT/PRBC ratios were independently associated with a reduction in mortality risk at 6, 12, and 24 hours (hazard ratio [HR] range, 0.20-0.41, p < 0.05). These findings were consistent for 12-hour and 24-hour ratios. When analyzed as time-dependent covariates, a high FFP/PRBC ratio was associated with a 68% (HR, 0.32; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.12-0.87, p = 0.03) reduction in 24-hour mortality, and a high PLT/PRBC ratio was associated with a 96% (HR, 0.04; 95% CI, 0.01-0.94, p = 0.04) reduction in 24-hour mortality. Subgroup analysis revealed that a high 1:1 ratio (≥1:1.5) had a significant 24-hour survival benefit relative to a high 1:2 (1:1.51-1:2.50) ratio group at both 6 hours (HR, 0.19; 95% CI, 0.03-0.86, p = 0.03) and 24 hours (HR, 0.25; 95% CI, 0.06-0.95, p = 0.04), suggesting a dose-response relationship. A high FFP/PRBC or PLT/PRBC ratio was not associated with development of multiple-organ failure, nosocomial infection, or adult respiratory distress syndrome in a 28-day Cox proportional hazards regression. Despite similar degrees of early shock and coagulopathy, high FFP/PRBC and PLT/PRBC ratios are associated with a survival benefit as early as 6 hours and throughout the first 24 hours, even when time-dependent fluctuations of component transfusion are accounted for. This suggests that the observed mortality benefit associated with high component transfusion ratios is unlikely owing to survivor bias and that early attainment of high transfusion ratios may significantly lower the risk of mortality in MT patients.
    08/2012; 73(2):358-64; discussion 364. DOI:10.1097/TA.0b013e31825889ba
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    ABSTRACT: Helicopter transport (HT) is an important component of American trauma care, but prospectively identifying patients that would benefit from this resource remains difficult. The objective of this study was to assess the role of the National Trauma Triage Protocol (NTTP) in selecting patients that would benefit from HT. Subjects transported by HT or ground transport from the scene of injury in 2007 were identified using the National Trauma Databank version 8. Criteria from the stepwise NTTP available in the data set were collected including physiologic data, anatomic injuries identified by DRG International Classification of Diseases-9th Rev. codes, and age. Subgroups of patients who met specific triage criteria were evaluated using logistic regression to determine if transport modality was an independent predictor of survival after controlling for demographics, injury severity, prehospital time, and presence of other NTTP triage criteria. Standard test characteristics were calculated for each criterion to predict trauma center need (TCN). The performance of triage criteria to predict TCN was compared between the groups using independent receiver operating characteristic area under the curve analysis. There were 258,387 subjects transported either by helicopter (16%) or by ground (84%). HT subjects were more severely injured (mean [SD], Injury Severity Score, 15.9 [12] vs. 10.2 [10], p < 0.01). Logistic regression identified HT as an independent predictor of survival in subjects with a subset of triage criteria, including penetrating injury, GCS<14, RR<10 or >29 breaths per minute, and age>55 years. Each criterion previously mentioned was significantly more predictive of TCN in the HT group than in the ground transport group (p < 0.01). Patients who meet certain triage criteria in the field seem to have an independent survival benefit if transported to a trauma center by helicopter. Furthermore, these criteria are highly specific and more reliably predict TCN in the HT group. The specific triage criteria listed previously should be carefully considered when developing policies for scene helicopter use in the trauma setting.
    08/2012; 73(2):319-25. DOI:10.1097/TA.0b013e3182572bee
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    ABSTRACT: Helicopter transport (HT) is frequently used for interfacility transfer of injured patients to a trauma center. The benefits of HT over ground transport (GT) in this setting are unclear. By using a national sample, the objective of this study was to assess whether HT impacted outcomes following interfacility transfer of trauma patients. Patients transferred by HT or GT in 2007 were identified using the National Trauma Databank (version 8). Injury severity, resource utilization, and survival to discharge were compared. Stepwise logistic regression was used to determine whether transport modality was a predictor of survival after adjusting for covariates. Regression analysis was repeated in subgroups with Injury Severity Score (ISS)≤15 and ISS>15. There were 74,779 patients transported by helicopter (20%) or ground (80%). Mean ISS was higher in patients transported by helicopter (17±11 vs. 12±9; p<0.01) as was the proportion with ISS>15 (49% vs. 28%; odds ratio [OR], 2.53; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.43-2.63). Patients transported by helicopter had higher rates of intensive care unit admission (54% vs. 29%; OR, 2.86; 95% CI, 2.75-2.96), had shorter transport time (61±55 minutes vs. 98±71 minutes; p<0.01), and had shorter overall prehospital time (135±86 minutes vs. 202±132 minutes; p<0.01). HT was not a predictor of survival overall or in patients with ISS≤15. In patients with ISS>15, HT was a predictor of survival (OR, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.02-1.17; p=0.01). Patients transported by helicopter were more severely injured and required more hospital resources than patients transported by ground. HT offered shorter transport and overall prehospital times. For patients with ISS>15, HT was a predictor of survival. These findings should be considered when developing interfacility transfer policies for patients with severe injuries.
    The Journal of trauma 02/2011; 70(2):310-4. DOI:10.1097/TA.0b013e3182032b4f · 2.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Centers for Disease Control recently updated the National Trauma Triage Protocol. This field triage algorithm guides emergency medical service providers through four decision steps (physiologic [PHY], anatomic [ANA], mechanism, and special considerations) to identify patients who would benefit from trauma center care. The study objective was to analyze whether trauma center need (TCN) was accurately predicted solely by the PHY and ANA criteria using national data. Trauma patients aged 18 years and older were identified in the NTDB (2002-2006). PHY data and ANA injuries (International Classification of Diseases, ninth revision codes) were collected. TCN was defined as Injury Severity Score (ISS)>15, intensive care unit admission, or need for urgent surgery. Test characteristics were calculated according to steps in the triage algorithm. Logistic regression was performed to determine independent association of criteria with outcomes. Receiver operating characteristic curves were constructed for each model. A total of 1,086,764 subjects were identified. Sensitivity of PHY criteria was highest for ISS>15 (42%) and of ANA criteria for urgent surgery (37%). By using PHY and ANA steps, sensitivity was highest (56%) and undertriage lowest (45%) for ISS>15. Undertriage for TCN based on actual treating trauma center level was 11%. Current PHY and ANA criteria are highly specific for TCN but result in a high degree of undertriage when applied independently. This implies that additional factors such as mechanism of injury and the special considerations included in the Centers for Disease Control decision algorithm contribute significantly to the effectiveness of this field triage tool.
    The Journal of trauma 01/2011; 70(1):38-44; discussion 44-5. DOI:10.1097/TA.0b013e3182077ea8 · 2.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The role of helicopter transport (HT) in civilian trauma care remains controversial. The objective of this study was to compare patient outcomes after transport from the scene of injury by HT and ground transport using a national patient sample. Patients transported from the scene of injury by HT or ground transport in 2007 were identified using the National Trauma Databank version 8. Injury severity, utilization of hospital resources, and outcomes were compared. Stepwise logistic regression was used to determine whether transport modality was a predictor of survival or discharge to home after adjusting for covariates. There were 258,387 patients transported by helicopter (16%) or ground (84%). Mean Injury Severity Score was higher in HT patients (15.9 ± 12.3 vs. 10.2 ± 9.5, p < 0.01), as was the percentage of patients with Injury Severity Score >15 (42.6% vs. 20.8%; odds ratio [OR], 2.83; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.76-2.89). HT patients had higher rates of intensive care unit admission (43.5% vs. 22.9%; OR, 2.58; 95% CI, 2.53-2.64) and mechanical ventilation (20.8% vs. 7.4%; OR, 3.30; 95% CI, 3.21-3.40). HT was a predictor of survival (OR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.17-1.27) and discharge to home (OR, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.02-1.07) after adjustment for covariates. Trauma patients transported by helicopter were more severely injured, had longer transport times, and required more hospital resources than those transported by ground. Despite this, HT patients were more likely to survive and were more likely to be discharged home after treatment when compared with those transported by ground. Despite concerns regarding helicopter utilization in the civilian setting, this study shows that HT has merit and impacts outcome.
    The Journal of trauma 11/2010; 69(5):1030-4; discussion 1034-6. DOI:10.1097/TA.0b013e3181f6f450 · 2.96 Impact Factor