Objective: Explore trends in trauma incidence and mortality rates in Los Angeles County.
Design: Data for patients treated at Los Angeles County trauma centers from 2000 to 2011 were analyzed for this study. Age-adjusted incidence and mortality rates were calculated by gender, race, injury type, injury severity, and mechanism of injury. Trends were assessed using linear regression to determine the annual percentage change (APC).
Results: There were 223 773 patients included. The trauma incidence rate increased by 14.6% driven by an increase in blunt injury of 5.4% annually (P < .05). Penetrating injury decreased at -6.9% APC (P < .01). Mortality rate decreased at -11.5% APC (P < .01), with reduction in both blunt (-6.8% APC [P < .01]) and penetrating injuries (-16.7% APC [P < .01]). The trends in mortality persisted with stratification by age, gender, race, and injury severity score.
Conclusion: In this mature trauma system, the trauma incidence increased slightly from 2000 to 2011, while the mortality steadily declined. Public health officials in other areas could perform a similar self-evaluation to describe and monitor injury events and trends in their jurisdictions, a reassessment of priority and trauma system resource allocation, which will directly benefit the regional population.