Objectives: To determine whether a novel inpatient mortality risk assessment tool designed to be calculated in the emergency department setting can risk stratify patient-reported functional outcomes and mortality at 1 year.
Design: Prospective cohort.
Setting: Academic level 1 trauma center.
Patients: Six hundred eight-five patients >55 years of age who were orthopaedic surgery consults or trauma surgery consults in the emergency department between January 10, 2014, and September 30, 2015.
Intervention: Calculation of the validated score for trauma triage in the geriatric and middle-aged (STTGMA) using each patient's demographics, injury severity, and functional status.
Main outcome measurements: Mortality, EQ-5D questionnaire, and percent return to baseline function since their hospitalization at 1-year after hospitalization.
Results: Forty-five (6.6%) patients died within the year after hospitalization. Of remaining 639 patients available for follow-up, 247 (38.7%) were successfully contacted. There was no observed difference between patients who were successfully contacted and those who were not. The mean STTGMA score was 2.1% ± 3.6%. Patients reported on average a 76.4% ± 27.5% return to baseline function. When comparing patients between risk groups, there was a significant difference in EQ-5D scores and percent return to baseline. The Kaplan-Meier survival curve shows that high-risk patients had pronounced decreased survival within the initial days after discharge compared with other cohorts.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that patients identified with the STTGMA tool as having an increased risk of inpatient mortality after trauma correlate with poorer functional outcomes at 1 year. The STTGMA risk score is also a valuable tool to stratify risk of mortality up to 1 year after discharge.
Level of evidence: Prognostic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.