Are we delivering two standards of care for pelvic trauma? Availability of angioembolization after hours and on weekends increases time to therapeutic intervention

J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2014 Jan;76(1):134-9. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e3182ab0cfc.


Background: We hypothesized that patients with pelvic fractures and hemorrhage admitted during daytime hours were undergoing interventional radiology (IR) earlier than those admitted at night and on weekends, thereby establishing two standards of time to hemorrhage control.

Methods: The trauma registry (January 2008 to December 2011) was reviewed for patients admitted with pelvic fractures, hemorrhagic shock, and transfusion of at least 1 U of blood. The control group (DAY) was admitted from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM Monday to Friday, while the study group (after hours [AHR]) was admitted from 5:30 PM to 7:30 AM, on weekends or holidays.

Results: A total of 191 patients met the criteria (45 DAY, 146 AHR); 103 died less than 24 hours and without undergoing IR (29% DAY group vs. 62% AHR, p < 0.001). Sixteen patients (all in AHR group) died while awaiting IR (p = 0.032). Eighty-eight patients (32 DAY, 56 AHR) survived to receive IR. Among these, the AHR group were younger (median, 30 years vs. 54 years; p = 0.007), more tachycardic (median pulse, 119 beats/min vs. 90 beats/min; p = 0.001), and had more profound shock (median base, -10 vs. -6; p = 0.006) on arrival. Time from admission to IR (median, 301 minutes vs. 193 minutes; p < 0.001) and computed tomographic scan to IR (176 minutes vs. 87 minutes, p = 0.011) were longer in the AHR group. There was no difference in the 30-day mortality by univariate analysis. However, after controlling for age, arrival physiology, injury severity, and degree of shock, the AHR group had a 94% increased risk of mortality.

Conclusion: The current study demonstrated that patients admitted at night and on weekends have a significant increase in time to angioembolization compared with those arriving during the daytime and during the week. Multivariate regression noted that AHR management was associated with an almost 100% increase in mortality. While this is a single-center study and retrospective in nature, it suggests that we are currently delivering two standards of care for pelvic trauma, depending on the day and time of admission.

Level of evidence: Therapeutic study, level II.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Transfusion / statistics & numerical data
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / complications
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Fractures, Bone / therapy*
  • Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Hemorrhage / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvic Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Pelvic Bones / injuries*
  • Pelvis / diagnostic imaging
  • Pelvis / injuries*
  • Quality of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Radiology, Interventional / statistics & numerical data
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Shock, Hemorrhagic / etiology
  • Shock, Hemorrhagic / therapy
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Young Adult