Background: Patients with repeat presentations to acute care hospitals for new injuries are trauma recidivists. Prospective identification of those patients at greatest risk will permit focusing of limited hospital prevention resources.
Methods: A population-based analysis of patients with recurrent trauma presenting to all hospitals in Nevada during a 5-year period was conducted. Records of 10,355 presentations representing 10,137 patients were analyzed.
Results: Recidivist trauma patients were younger than non-recidivists, with patients aged 20 to 24 years having significantly higher rates of recidivism. Males were 1.53 times more likely than females to become recidivists. Cutting/piercing and machinery-related injuries were most frequently associated with recidivism. Cutting/piercing wound survivors were 7.06 times more likely to be recidivists than were gunshot wound survivors. Recidivists in motor vehicles crashes were 1.92 times less likely to wear seat belts than nonrecidivists. Recidivism was also significantly associated with positive blood alcohol levels and longer initial hospital stays.
Conclusion: The rate of trauma recidivism in this study was 2.0%. Population-based data can be used to identify cohorts at risk of recidivism.