Epidemiology and Contemporary Patterns of Trauma Deaths: Changing Place, Similar Pace, Older Face

University of Bergen, Bergen, Hordaland, Norway
World Journal of Surgery (Impact Factor: 2.64). 12/2007; 31(11):2092-103. DOI: 10.1007/s00268-007-9226-9
Source: PubMed


The epidemiology of trauma deaths in Europe is less than well investigated. Thus, our goal was to study the contemporary patterns of trauma deaths within a defined population with an exceptionally high trauma autopsy rate.
This was a retrospective evaluation of 260 consecutive trauma autopsies for which we collected demographic, pre-hospital and in-hospital data. Patients were analyzed for injury severity by standard scoring systems (Abbreviated Injury Scale [AIS], Revised Trauma Score [RTS], and Injury Severity Score [ISS]), and the Trauma and Injury Severity Scale [TRISS] methodology.
The fatal trauma incidence was 10.0 per 100,000 inhabitants (17.4 per 100,000 age-adjusted > or = 55 years). Blunt mechanism (87%), male gender (75%), and pre-hospital deaths (52%) predominated. Median ISS was 38 (range: 4-75). Younger patients (<55 years) who died in the hospital were more often hypotensive (SBP < 90 mmHg; p = 0.001), in respiratory distress (RR < 10/min, or > 29/min; p < 0.0001), and had deranged neurology on admission (Glasgow Coma Score [GCS] < or = 8; p < 0.0001), compared to those > or = 55 years. Causes of death were central nervous system (CNS) injuries (67%), exsanguination (25%), and multiorgan failure (8%). The temporal death distribution is model-dependent and can be visualized in unimodal, bimodal, or trimodal patterns. Age increased (r = 0.43) and ISS decreased (r = -0.52) with longer time from injury to death (p < 0.001). Mean age of the trauma patients who died increased by almost a decade during the study period (from mean 41.7 +/- 24.2 years to mean 50.5 +/- 25.4 years; p = 0.04). The pre-hospital:in-hospital death ratio shifted from 1.5 to 0.75 (p < 0.007).
While pre-hospital and early deaths still predominate, an increasing proportion succumb after arrival in hospital. Focus on injury prevention is imperative, particularly for brain injuries. Although hemorrhage and multiorgan failure deaths have decreased, they do still occur. Redirected attention and focus on the geriatric trauma population is mandated.

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Available from: Hans Morten Lossius
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    • "The organization of the modern trauma systems is based on the trimodal distribution of mortality, proposed by Donald Trunkey in 1983[2]. This concept is very useful for educational purposes, but inconsistent with the more recent evidence[3] [4] [5]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To characterize the pattern of mortality for major trauma patients. Methods: Retrospective study of major trauma patients admitted in a Level I trauma center, during the latest 5 years was conducted. Selection criteria included (1) injury severity score (ISS) > 16 and (2) in-hospital death. Results: There were 47 patients, with a mean age of 37.2 ± 19.9 years. The mean ISS was 37.6 ± 12.7 and the mean revised trauma score was 4.5 ± 2.2. Computed tomography scan on admission was done in 18 (38%) patients, 20% being hemodynamically unstable (P = 0.001). The diagnostic peritoneal lavage was performed in 10 (22%) cases, 23.3% being hemodynamically unstable (P > 0.05). The mean number of intraabdominal injuries was 3. The need for transfusion was 8.2 ± 6.7 units. The mean time to death was 4.9 days. Early death was secondary to hemorrhagic shock (HS) (ISS = 35.2 ± 15.9, P > 0.05, revised trauma score = 3.74 ± 2.70, P = 0.008) and multiple organ failure (ISS = 36.6 ± 14.1, P > 0.05, revised trauma score = 5.94 ± 1.34, P = 0.008) was the cause for later mortality. Combined liver and splenic injuries were found in 13 cases, with secondary death through HS in 5 and multiple system organ failure (MSOF) in 8 cases. Combined liver, splenic and kidney injuries were found in 5 cases (cause of death: HS 2 cases, MSOF 3 cases). A total of 14 patients had associated head, thorax, abdomen and extremity trauma (cause of death: cerebral trauma 6 cases, MSOF 5 cases, HS 2 cases); 5 patients had thorax and abdomen trauma (cause of death: HS 5 cases); 8 patients had thorax, abdomen and extremity trauma (cause of death: MSOF 5 cases, HS 3 cases); 3 patients had abdomen and extremity trauma (HS 2 cases). We did not find a trimodal time distribution for mortality. Conclusions: The trimodal time distribution of mortality remains a milestone in trauma education and research. Nevertheless, it must be questioned in the modern and very efficcient trauma systems, but still very actual for developing trauma care systems. In conclusion, the pattern of mortality due to major trauma seems decreasing continuously with time rather than presenting high peaks of frequency at some moments.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015
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    • "In the current study, trauma deaths in the patients who reached the hospital alive were due to blunt injury in 96% and the contribution of deaths due to penetrating trauma was negligible. The percentage of trauma deaths due to hemorrhage (16.3%) was in the same range or slightly lower as previous studies in Scandinavia [16,17]. The number of deaths in multiple organ failure 6.3% (16/253) was low in the current study. "
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    ABSTRACT: Securing high-quality mortality statistics requires systematic evaluation of all trauma deaths. We examined the proportion of trauma patients dying within 30 days from causes not related to the injury and the impact of exclusion of patients dead on arrival on 30-day trauma mortality. We also defined the demographics, injury characteristics, cause of death and time to death in patients admitted to our trauma center who died within 30 days, between 2007-2011. Demographics, injury characteristics, status alive/dead on arrival, cause of death and time to death of all patients were reviewed. Deaths were analyzed based on injury mechanism (penetrating, blunt trauma and low energy blunt trauma) and cause of death (traumatic brain injury (TBI), hemorrhage, organ dysfunction and other/unknown). Of the 7422 admissions, 343 deaths were identified of which 36 (10.5%) involved causes not related to the injury. The overall age was 71 years, Injury Severity Score (ISS) 29 and time to death 24 hours (all medians). Fifty-four patients (17.6%) were dead on arrival. Exclusion of patients dead on arrival reduced the overall mortality rate (P < 0.05) and median ISS (P < 0.05) and increased median age (P < 0.01) and time to death (P < 0.001). Injury mechanism was penetrating trauma in 7.5%, blunt trauma in 56.0%, and low energy blunt trauma in 36.5%. TBI accounted for 58.6%; hemorrhage 16.3%, organ dysfunction 15.0%, and other/unknown for 10.1% of the deaths. Patients who died after low energy blunt trauma were older, had lower ISS and longer time to death compared to those who died after penetrating and blunt trauma (all P < 0.01). Clinical review of all trauma deaths was essential to interpret mortality. Thirty-day trauma mortality included 10.5% deaths not directly related to the injury and the exclusion of patients dead on arrival significantly affected the unadjusted mortality rate, ISS, median age and time to death.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Scandinavian Journal of Trauma Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine
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    • "Trauma is a leading cause of mortality worldwide. 1,2 Uncontrolled hemorrhage is the second leading cause of early deaths among trauma patients, with only central nervous system (CNS) injury consistently being more lethal. 3–5 Early control of hemorrhage is critical to the survival of trauma patients in both military and civilian settings. 3,4 , 6–8 In the prehospital period, hemorrhage contributes to 33–56% of civilian trauma-related deaths and in recent military operations uncontrolled hemorrhage was the primary cause of potentially survivable battlefiel"
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    ABSTRACT: Objective. Severe hemorrhage is a leading cause of death and difficult to control even by trained medical personnel. Current interventions have significant limitations in the prehospital setting; therefore, a need exists for a new and effective treatment. iTraumaCare has designed a temporary wound closure device, the iTClamp, which controls external hemorrhage from open wounds within compressible zones. The device approximates the wound edges, sealing the skin within a pressure bar, enabling creation of a hematoma and subsequent clot formation. The objective of this study is to test the effectiveness of the iTClamp to control external bleeding due to a major vascular injury to the groin in an in vivo swine model. Methods. Twenty Yorkshire-cross male swine were enrolled in this study. A complex groin injury was created by complete excision of the femoral artery and vein along with some surrounding muscle. The animals were divided into four treatment groups: control (no treatment), early iTClamp treatment, late iTClamp treatment, and standard gauze treatment. Survival rate, survival time, and blood loss were the primary endpoints. Physiologic parameters (heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation) were monitored throughout the experiment and blood samples were collected to analyze partial thromboplastin time and fibrinogen. Results: All (100%) of the animals treated with the iTClamp lived through the end of the experiment, compared to 60% in standard gauze treated and 0% of untreated control animals (early and late iTClamp vs. control and standard gauze, Fisher's exact, p = 0.003). Both the early iTClamp and late iTClamp treatment groups survived significantly longer than the untreated control pigs (Mann-Whitney U-test, p < 0.009). External blood loss was significantly lower in animals treated with the iTClamp (early) compared to no treatment (Mann-Whitney U-test, p < 0.008). There was no significant change in physiologic or hematologic parameters between treatment groups. Conclusions: The iTClamp showed statistically significant improvement in survival, survival time, and estimated blood loss when compared to no treatment. This proof-of-concept study demonstrates the potential of the iTClamp to control severe bleeding and prevent blood loss.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Prehospital Emergency Care
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