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Multicenter Study
, 78 (2), 289-94

Outcomes Following Prolonged Mechanical Ventilation: Analysis of a Countywide Trauma Registry

Multicenter Study

Outcomes Following Prolonged Mechanical Ventilation: Analysis of a Countywide Trauma Registry

Jerry A Rubano et al. J Trauma Acute Care Surg.


Background: The care of mechanically ventilated patients at high-volume centers in select nontrauma populations has variable effects on outcomes. We evaluated outcomes for trauma patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation (PMV). We further hypothesized that the higher mechanical ventilator volume trauma center would have better outcomes.

Methods: A retrospective review of a county's trauma registry was performed for trauma patients who were at least 18 years old admitted from 2006 to 2010. Eleven hospitals serve this suburban county, with a population of approximately 1.5 million people. The state has designated them as nontrauma centers (n = 6), area trauma centers (ATCs, n = 4), or regional trauma center (RTC, n = 1), where the last one provides the highest echelon of care. Patients requiring mechanical ventilation for at least 96 hours following injury were evaluated.

Results: A total of 3,382 trauma patients were admitted to the RTC, and 5,870 were admitted to the other 10 hospitals in the county. Seven hundred seventy-one received mechanical ventilation at the RTC, and 687 at the other 10 hospitals combined. Of these patients, 407 at the RTC and 308 at the remaining facilities (291 at ATCs and 17 at nontrauma centers) required PMV. Median (interquartile range [IQR]) Injury Severity Score (ISS) at the RTC was higher (29 [21-41] vs. 22 [16-29] p < 0.001) than that at ATCs. Hospital length of stay (in days) was comparable between the RTC and ATCs (28 [18-45] vs. 26 [16-44.7]). With regard to complications, rates of renal failure, sepsis, and myocardial infarction were similar. The RTC had higher pneumonia rates (59% vs. 45.4%, p < 0.001) and venous thromboembolic disease rates (20.4% vs. 10.4%, p < 0.001) than did ATCs. In-hospital mortality was 17% at the RTC and 34.4% at ATCs (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: A mortality benefit but higher VTE and pneumonia rate for PMV patients at the RTC was noted. Collaborative practice initiatives are warranted to reduce morbidity and mortality across the region.

Level of evidence: Epidemiologic study, level IV.

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