To develop measurement tools for assessing compliance with identifiable processes of inpatient care for children with traumatic brain injury that are reliable, valid, and amenable to implementation.
Literature review and expert panel using the RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method and a Delphi technique.
Children with traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Main outcome measures
Quality of care indicators
A total of 119 indicators were developed across the domains of general management; family-centered care; cognitive-communication, speech, language and swallowing impairments; gross and fine motor skill impairments; neuropsychological, social and behavioral impairments; school re-entry; community integration. There was a high degree of agreement on these indicators as valid and feasible quality measures for children with TBI.
These indicators are an important step toward building a better base of evidence about the effectiveness and efficiency of the components of acute inpatient rehabilitation for pediatric patients with TBI.
brain injuries; quality of health care
To develop evidence-based and expert-driven quality indicators for measuring variations in the structure and organization of acute inpatient rehabilitation for children after traumatic brain injury (TBI) and to survey centers across the United States to determine the degree of variation in care.
Quality indicators were developed using the RAND/UCLA modified Delphi method. Adherence to these indicators was determined from a survey of rehabilitation facilities.
Inpatient rehabilitation units in the United States.
A sample of rehabilitation programs identified using data from the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions, Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation, and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities yielded 74 inpatient units treating children with TBI. Survey respondents comprised 31 pediatric and 28 all-age units.
Main Outcome Measures
Variations in structure and organization of care among institutions providing acute inpatient rehabilitation for children with TBI.
Twelve indicators were developed. Pediatric inpatient rehabilitation units and units with higher volumes of children with TBI were more likely to have: a census of at least one child admitted with a TBI for at least 90% of the time; adequate specialized equipment; a classroom; a pediatric subspecialty trained medical director; and greater than 75% of therapists with pediatric training.
There were clinically and statistically significant variations in the structure and organization of acute pediatric rehabilitation based on the pediatric focus of the unit and volume of children with TBI.
brain injuries; rehabilitation; quality of care; outcome and process assessment; pediatrics
This study aimed to examine the prevalence and trajectory of sleep disturbances and their associated risk factors in children up to 24 months following a traumatic brain injury (TBI). In addition, the longitudinal association between sleep disturbances and children's functional outcomes was assessed. This was a prospective study of a cohort of children with TBI and a comparison cohort of children with orthopedic injury (OI). Parental reports of pre-injury sleep disturbances were compared to reports of post-injury changes at 3, 12, and 24 months. Risk factors for sleep disturbances were examined, including severity of TBI, presence of psychosocial problems, and pain. Sleep disturbances were also examined as a predictor of children's functional outcomes in the areas of adaptive behavior skills and activity participation. Both cohorts (children with TBI and OI) displayed increased sleep disturbances after injury. However, children with TBI experienced higher severity and more prolonged duration of sleep disturbances compared to children with OI. Risk factors for disturbed sleep included mild TBI, psychosocial problems, and frequent pain. Sleep disturbances emerged as significant predictors of poorer functional outcomes in children with moderate or severe TBI. Children with TBI experienced persistent sleep disturbances over 24 months. Findings suggest a potential negative impact of disturbed sleep on children's functional outcomes, highlighting the need for further research on sleep in children with TBI.
pediatric; risk factors; sleep disturbances; traumatic brain injury
To survey US Level I trauma centers in order to assess the characteristics of child and adolescent psychosocial service delivery.
Trauma program staff at US Level I trauma centers were asked to complete a survey regarding the characteristics and quality of service delivery for youth. The presence of pediatric services and screening of injured youth for alcohol use problems and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms were assessed.
150 of 202 (74%) of trauma centers responded to the survey. Substantial variability was observed in trauma center age cutoffs for pediatric and adolescent patients. Although the majority of sites endorsed having specialized pediatric, intensive care unit, and surgical services, marked differences were found in the reported percentage of youth receiving psychosocial services. Even though the majority of sites screened injured youth for alcohol use problems, variability was observed in the actual percentage of children and adolescents screened. Only 20% of sites endorsed specialized PTSD services.
Our investigation observed marked variability across trauma centers in the delivery of child and adolescent services. Future research could develop high quality pediatric psychosocial services in order to inform trauma center standards nationwide.
Quality of Care; Children; Adolescents; Psychiatry; PTSD; Alcohol
We examined the initial management of renal trauma and assessed patterns of management based on hospital trauma level designation.
Materials and Methods
The National Trauma Data Bank is a comprehensive trauma registry with records from hospitals in the United States and Puerto Rico. Renal injuries treated at a member hospital from 2002 to 2007 were identified. We classified initial management as expectant, minimally invasive (angiography, embolization, ureteral stent or nephrostomy) or open surgical management based on ICD-9 procedure codes. The primary outcome was use of secondary therapies.
Of 3,247,955 trauma injuries in the National Trauma Data Bank 9,002 were renal injuries (0.3%). High grade injuries demonstrated significantly higher rates of definitive success with the first urological intervention at level I trauma centers vs other trauma centers (minimally invasive 52% vs 26%, p <0.001), and were more likely treated successfully with conservative management (89% vs 82%, p <0.001). When adjusting for other known indices of injury severity, and examining low and high grade injuries, level I trauma centers were 90% more likely to offer an initial trial of conservative management (OR 1.90; 95% CI 1.19, 3.05) and had a 30% lower chance of patients requiring multiple procedures (OR 0.70; 95% CI 0.52, 0.95).
Following multivariate analysis conservative therapy was more common at level I trauma centers despite the patient population being more severely injured. Initial intervention strategies were also more definitive at level I trauma centers, providing additional support for tiered delivery of trauma care.
wounds and injuries; kidney; outcome assessment (health care); health facilities
To our knowledge data on diagnostic angiography and angioembolization after renal trauma have been limited to single institution series with small numbers. We used the National Trauma Data Bank® to investigate national patterns of diagnostic angiography and angioembolization after blunt and penetrating renal trauma.
Materials and Methods
All renal injuries treated between 2002 and 2007 were identified in the National Trauma Data Bank by Abbreviated Injury Scale codes and converted to American Association for the Surgery of Trauma renal injury grades. Diagnostic angiography and angioembolization were identified by ICD-9 codes and examined. Initial angioembolization was considered a failure if subsequent therapy was needed. Repeat diagnostic angiography was not considered a failure.
A total of 9,002 renal injuries were available for analysis. A total of 165 patients (2%) underwent diagnostic angiography after renal injury, including 77 (47%) who underwent concomitant angioembolization. Of the patients 78% sustained grade III–V renal injuries. Of the 77 patients with initial angioembolization 68 required successive therapy. Repeat angioembolization was the most common management choice (29% of patients). Secondary angioembolization was durable during the index hospitalization with success in 35 of 36 cases. Successive therapy was required after initial angioembolization for all grade IV and V renal injuries in 48 patients. The overall renal salvage rate was 92%, including 88% for grade IV and V injuries.
Successive therapy is common after initial management of renal injury by angioembolization. Close observation is highly recommended after initial angioembolization for grade IV–V renal injuries. National agreement on the use of diagnostic angiography and angioembolization is needed since these procedures may be overused after grade I–III renal injuries.
kidney; wounds, penetrating; wounds, nonpenetrating; angiography; embolization, therapeutic
Guidelines for management of pediatric high grade renal injuries are currently based on limited pediatric data and algorithms from adults, for whom initial nonoperative management is associated with decreased nephrectomy risk. Using a national database, we compared nephrectomy rates between children with high grade renal injury managed conservatively and those undergoing early surgical intervention.
Materials and Methods
All children with high grade renal injuries were identified in the National Trauma Data Bank®. High grade renal injuries were defined as American Association for the Surgery of Trauma grade IV or V renal injuries. After excluding fatalities within 24 hours of hospitalization, 419 pediatric patients comprised our study cohort. A total of 81 patients underwent early (within 24 hours of hospitalization) surgical intervention, while 338 were initially treated conservatively. Using stratified analysis with adjustment for relevant covariates, we compared nephrectomy rates between these groups.
Nephrectomy was performed less often in patients treated conservatively (RR 0.24, 95% CI 0.16 to 0.36, adjusted for age, renal injury grade and injury mechanism). The decreased risk of nephrectomy was more marked among children with grade IV vs grade V renal injuries (adjusted RR 0.16, 95% CI 0.08 to 0.23). Multiple procedures were more common in patients initially observed. Of pediatric patients with grade IV and V renal injuries 11% still underwent nephrectomy.
Conservative management of high grade renal injuries is common in children. Although mechanism of injury and renal injury grade impact initial clinical management decisions, the risk of nephrectomy was consistently decreased in children with high grade renal trauma managed conservatively regardless of injury characteristics.
adolescent; child; kidney; retrospective studies; wounds and injuries
Infrastructure, processes of care and outcome measurements are the cornerstone of quality care for pediatric trauma. This review aims to evaluate current evidence on system organization and concentration of pediatric expertise in the delivery of pediatric trauma care. It discusses key quality indicators for all phases of care, from pre-hospital to post-discharge recovery. In particular, it highlights the importance of measuring quality of life and psychosocial recovery for the injured child.
Outcomes; process; quality improvement; registry
Burn demographics, prevention and care have changed considerably since the 1970s. The objectives were to 1) identify new and confirm previously described changes, 2) make comparisons to the American Burn Association National Burn Repository, 3) determine when the administration of fluids in excess of the Baxter formula began and to identify potential causes, and 4) model mortality over time, during a 36-year period (1974–2009) at the Harborview Burn Center in Seattle, WA, USA.
Methods and Findings
14,266 consecutive admissions were analyzed in five-year periods and many parameters compared to the National Burn Repository. Fluid resuscitation was compared in five-year periods from 1974 to 2009. Mortality was modeled with the rBaux model. Many changes are highlighted at the end of the manuscript including 1) the large increase in numbers of total and short-stay admissions, 2) the decline in numbers of large burn injuries, 3) that unadjusted case fatality declined to the mid-1980s but has changed little during the past two decades, 4) that race/ethnicity and payer status disparity exists, and 5) that the trajectory to death changed with fewer deaths occurring after seven days post-injury. Administration of fluids in excess of the Baxter formula during resuscitation of uncomplicated injuries was evident at least by the early 1990s and has continued to the present; the cause is likely multifactorial but pre-hospital fluids, prophylactic tracheal intubation and opioids may be involved.
1) The dramatic changes include the rise in short-stay admissions; as a result, the model of burn care practiced since the 1970s is still required but is no longer sufficient. 2) Fluid administration in excess of the Baxter formula with uncomplicated injuries began at least two decades ago. 3) Unadjusted case fatality declined to ∼6% in the mid-1980s and changed little since then. The rBaux mortality model is quite accurate.
Recent reports suggest that providers’ implicit attitudes about race contribute to racial and ethnic health care disparities. However, little is known about physicians’ implicit racial attitudes. This study measured implicit and explicit attitudes about race using the Race Attitude Implicit Association Test (IAT) for a large sample of test takers (N = 404,277), including a sub-sample of medical doctors (MDs) (n = 2,535). Medical doctors, like the entire sample, showed an implicit preference for White Americans relative to Black Americans. We examined these effects among White, African American, Hispanic, and Asian MDs and by physician gender. Strength of implicit bias exceeded self-report among all test takers except African American MDs. African American MDs, on average, did not show an implicit preference for either Blacks or Whites, and women showed less implicit bias than men. Future research should explore whether, and under what conditions, MDs’ implicit attitudes about race affect the quality of medical care.
Racial and ethnic health care disparities; implicit and explicit attitudes about race; physician racial bias; physicians; gender; race; ethnicity
To develop and implement a stepped collaborative care intervention targeting PTSD and related co-morbidities to enhance the population impact of early trauma-focused interventions.
We describe the design and implementation of the Trauma Survivors Outcomes & Support Study (TSOS II). An interdisciplinary treatment development team was comprised of trauma surgical, clinical psychiatric and mental health services “change agents” who spanned the boundaries between front-line trauma center clinical care and acute care policy. Mixed method clinical epidemiologic and clinical ethnographic studies informed the development of PTSD screening and intervention procedures.
Two-hundred and seven acutely injured trauma survivors with high early PTSD symptom levels were randomized into the study. The stepped collaborative care model integrated care management (i.e., posttraumatic concern elicitation and amelioration, motivational interviewing, and behavioral activation) with cognitive behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy targeting PTSD. The model was feasibly implemented by front-line acute care MSW and ARNP providers.
Stepped care protocols targeting PTSD may enhance the population impact of early interventions developed for survivors of individual and mass trauma by extending the reach of collaborative care interventions to acute care medical settings and other non-specialty posttraumatic contexts.
PTSD; stepped collaborative care; acute care; population impact; traumatic injury
Growing concern about the limited generalizability of trials of preventive interventions has led to several proposals concerning the design, reporting, and interpretation of such trials. This paper presents an epidemiologic framework that highlights three key determinants of population impact of many prevention programs: the proportion of the population at risk who would be candidates for a generic intervention in routine use, the proportion of those candidates who are actually intervened on through a specific program, and the reduction in incidence produced by that program among recipients. It then describes how the design of a prevention trial relates to estimating these quantities. Implications of the framework include: (1) reach is an attribute of a program, while external validity is an attribute of a trial, and the two should not be conflated; (2) specification of a defined target population at risk is essential in the long run and merits greater emphasis in the planning and interpretation of prevention trials; (3) with due attention to sampling frame and sampling method, the process of subject recruitment for a trial can yield key information about quantities that are important for assessing its potential population impact; and (4) exclusions during subject recruitment can be conceptually separated into intervention-driven, program-driven, and trial design–driven exclusions, which have quite different implications for trial interpretation and for estimating population impact of the intervention studied.
The aim of this study was to develop and validate a comorbidity index to predict the risk of mortality associated with chronic health conditions following a traumatic injury.
Summary Background Data
Currently available comorbidity adjustment tools do not account for certain chronic conditions, which may influence outcome following traumatic injury or they have not been fully validated for trauma. Controlling for comorbidity in trauma patients is becoming increasingly important as the population ages and elderly patients are more active, as well as to adjust for bias in trauma mortality studies.
Cohort study using data from the National Study on the Costs and Outcome of Trauma. Subject pool (N = 4644/Weighted Number = 14,069) was randomly divided in half; the first half of subjects was used to derive the risk scale, the second to validate the instrument. To construct the Mortality Risk Score for Trauma (MoRT), univariate analysis and odds ratios were performed to determine relative risk of mortality at hospital discharge comparing those persons with a comorbid condition to those without. Conditions significantly associated with mortality (P < 0.05) were included in the multivariate model. The variables in the final model were used to build the MoRT. The predictive ability of the MoRT and the Charlson Comorbid-ity Index (CCI) for discharge and 1-year mortality were estimated using the c-statistic in the validation sample.
Six comorbidity factors were independently associated with the risk of mortality and formed the basis for the MoRT: severe liver disease, myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular disease, cardiac arrhythmias, dementia, and depression. The MoRT had a similar overall discrimination as the CCI for mortality at hospital discharge in injured adults (c-statistic: 0.56 vs. 0.56) although neither by itself performed well. The addition of age and gender improved the predictive ability of the MoRT (0.59; 95% CI: 0.56, 0.62) and the CCI (0.59; 0.56, 0.62). Similar results were seen at 1-year postinjury. The further addition of Injury Severity Score significantly improved the predictive ability of the MoRT (0.77, 95% CI: 0.74, 0.79) and the CCI (0.77, 95% CI: 0.75, 0.80).
The MoRTs primary advantage over current instruments is its parsimony, containing only 6 items. In the present study, the comorbid conditions found to be predictive of mortality had some overlap with the CCI, but this study identified 2 novel predictors: cardiac arrhythmias and depression. Inclusion and reporting of these items within trauma registries would therefore be an important step to allow further validation and use of the MoRT.
To estimate health care utilization and costs associated with the type of intimate partner violence (IPV) women experience by the timing of their abuse.
A total of 3,333 women (ages 18–64) were randomly sampled from the membership files of a large health plan located in a metropolitan area and participated in a telephone survey to assess IPV history, including the type of IPV (physical IPV or nonphysical abuse only) and the timing of the abuse (ongoing; recent, not ongoing but occurring in the past 5 years; remote, ending at least 5 years prior). Automated annual health care utilization and costs were assembled over 7.4 years for women with physical IPV and nonphysical abuse only by the time period during which their abuse occurred (ongoing, recent, remote), and compared with those of never-abused women (reference group).
Mental health utilization was significantly higher for women with physical or nonphysical abuse only compared with never-abused women—with the highest use among women with ongoing abuse (relative risk for those with ongoing abuse: physical, 2.61; nonphysical, 2.18). Physically abused women also used more emergency department, hospital outpatient, primary care, pharmacy, and specialty services; for emergency department, pharmacy, and specialty care, utilization was the highest for women with ongoing abuse. Total annual health care costs were higher for physically abused women, with the highest costs for ongoing abuse (42 percent higher compared with nonabused women), followed by recent (24 percent higher) and remote abuse (19 percent higher). Women with recent nonphysical abuse only had annual costs that were 33 percent higher than nonabused women.
Physical and nonphysical abuse contributed to higher health care utilization, particularly mental health services utilization.
Intimate partner violence; utilization; costs; abuse
In 2007, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma implemented a requirement that Level I trauma centers must have a mechanism to identify patients who are problem drinkers and the capacity to provide an intervention for patients who screen positive. Although the landmark alcohol screening and brief intervention (SBI) mandate is anticipated to impact trauma practice nationwide, a literature review revealed no studies that have systematically documented SBI practice pre-ACS requirement.
Trauma programs at all US Level I trauma centers were contacted and asked to complete a survey about pre-ACS requirement trauma center SBI practice.
One hundred forty-eight of 204 (73%) Level I trauma centers responded to the survey. More than 70% of responding centers routinely used laboratory tests (eg, blood alcohol concentration) to screen patients for alcohol and 39% routinely used a screening question or standardized screening instrument. Screen-positive patients received a formal alcohol consult or had an informal alcohol discussion with staff members approximately 25% of the time.
The investigation observed marked variability across Level I centers in the percentage of patients screened and in the nature and extent of intervention delivery in screen-positive patients. In the wake of the ACS Committee on Trauma requirement, future research could systematically implement and evaluate training in the delivery of evidence-based alcohol interventions and training in development of trauma center organizational capacity for sustained delivery of SBI.
Few large-scale, multisite investigations have assessed the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and health outcomes across the spectrum of patients with mild, moderate, and severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).
To understand the risk of developing PTSD symptoms and to assess the impact of PTSD on the development of health and cognitive impairments across the full spectrum of TBI severity.
Multisite US prospective cohort study.
Eighteen level I trauma centers and 51 non–trauma center hospitals.
A total of 3047 (weighted n=10 372) survivors of multiple traumatic injuries between the ages of 18 and 84 years.
Main Outcome Measures
Severity of TBI was categorized from chart-abstracted International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes. Symptoms consistent with a DSM-IV diagnosis of PTSD were assessed with the PTSD Checklist 12 months after injury. Self-reported outcome assessment included the 8 Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form Health Survey health status domains and a 4-item assessment of cognitive function at telephone interviews 3 and 12 months after injury.
At the time of injury hospitalization, 20.5% of patients had severe TBI, 11.7% moderate TBI, 12.9% mild TBI, and 54.9% no TBI. Patients with severe (relative risk, 0.72; 95% confidence interval, 0.58-0.90) and moderate (0.63; 0.44-0.89) TBI, but not mild TBI (0.83; 0.61-1.13), demonstrated a significantly diminished risk of PTSD symptoms relative to patients without TBI. Across TBI categories, in adjusted analyses patients with PTSD demonstrated an increased risk of health status and cognitive impairments when compared with patients without PTSD.
More severe TBI was associated with a diminished risk of PTSD. Regardless of TBI severity, injured patients with PTSD demonstrated the greatest impairments in self-reported health and cognitive function. Treatment programs for patients with the full spectrum of TBI severity should integrate intervention approaches targeting PTSD.
This study compares skiing and snowboarding injuries in terrain parks versus slopes at two ski areas, 2000–05. A total of 3953 (26.7%) injuries occurred in terrain parks, predominantly among young male snowboarders. Terrain park injuries were more likely to be severe, involving head (RR 1.31, 95% CI 1.16 to 1.48) or back (RR 1.96, 95% CI 1.67 to 2.29).
An understanding of population-specific variation in pediatric burn injuries is essential to the development of effective prevention strategies. The purpose of this study was to examine the etiology of pediatric burn injury considering age and race categories using the National Burn Repository. The authors reviewed the records of all pediatric patients (age <18 years) in the American Burn Association's National Burn Registry injured between 1995 and 2007. The authors compared patient and injury characteristics across race, age, etiology, and payor status. A total of 46,582 patients were included in this study. The etiology of burn injury varied by both age and race. Populations of color were younger, constituting 53.8% of patients younger than 5 years, whereas 53.9% of the total study population identified as Caucasian. Scald etiology was disproportionately less common in patients identifying as Caucasian (39.9 vs 61.4%, P <.001), and scald was a common etiology in older children identifying as African American, Asian, and Hispanic. Inhalation injuries were also higher in patients identifying as Native American (5.4%), Hispanic (4.2%), and African American (3.7%). Pediatric burn injury etiology varies with age and race. These data should encourage careful consideration of race, age, and other differences in formulating the most effective, population-specific prevention and outreach strategies.
Pediatric trauma involving the bones of the face is associated with severe injury and disability. Although much is known about the epidemiology of facial fractures in adults, little is known about national injury patterns and outcomes in children in the US.
The epidemiology of facial injuries in children and adolescents (ages 0 to 18 years) was described using the National Trauma Data Bank (2001 to 2005) to examine facial fracture pattern, mechanism, and concomitant injury by age.
A total of 12,739 (4.6%) facial fractures were identified among 277,008 pediatric trauma patient admissions. The proportion of patients with facial fractures increased substantially with age. The most common facial fractures were mandible (32.7%), nasal (30.2%), and maxillary/zygoma (28.6%). The most common mechanisms of injury were motor vehicle collision (55.1%), violence (11.8%), and falls (8.6%). These fracture patterns and mechanisms of injury varied with age. Compared with patients without facial fractures, patients with fractures exhibited substantial injury severity, hospital lengths of stay, ICU lengths of stay, ventilator days, and hospital charges. In addition, patients with facial fractures had more severe associated injury to the head and chest and considerably higher overall mortality.
Causes and patterns of facial fractures vary with age. Cranial and central facial injuries are more common among toddlers and infants, and mandible injuries are more common among adolescents. Although bony craniofacial trauma is relatively uncommon among the pediatric population, it remains a substantial source of mortality, morbidity, and hospital resource use. Continued efforts toward injury prevention are warranted.
Although comprehensive burn care requires significant resources, patients may be treated at verified burn centers, non-verified burn centers, or other facilities due to a variety of factors. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between patient and injury characteristics and treatment location using a national database.
We performed an analysis of all burn patients admitted to United States hospitals participating in the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project over 2 years. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify patient and injury factors associated with the likelihood of treatment at designated burn care facilities. Definitve care facilities were categorized as American Burn Association verified centers, non-verified burn centers, or other facilities.
Over the two years, 29,971 burn patients were treated in 1,376 hospitals located in 19 participating states. A total of 6,712 (22%) patients were treated at verified centers, with 26% and 52% treated at non-verified or other facilities, respectively. Patients treated at verified centers were younger than those at non-verified or other facilities (33.1 years vs. 33.7 years vs. 41.9 years, p<0.001) and had a higher rate of inhalation injury (3.4% vs. 3.2% vs. 2.2%, p<0.001). Independent factors associated with treatment at verified centers include burns to the head/neck (RR 2.4, CI 2.1-2.7), hand (RR 1.8, CI 1.6-1.9), electrical injury (RR 1.4, CI 1.4, CI 1.2-1.7), and fewer co-morbidities (RR 0.55, CI 0.5-0.6).
More than two-thirds of significantly burned patients are treated at non-verified burn centers in the U.S. Many patients meeting ABA criteria for transfer to a burn center are being treated at non-burn center facilities.
The Fournier's gangrene literature comes almost exclusively from tertiary referral centers. We used a population based database to evaluate variations in management and outcomes.
Materials and Methods
Inpatients with Fournier's gangrene who underwent surgical débridement or died were identified from select states in the State Inpatient Databases. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was done to evaluate patient and hospital related predictors of mortality.
We identified 1,641 males with Fournier's gangrene treated at a total of 593 hospitals. At teaching hospitals more Fournier's gangrene cases were treated per year, and more surgical procedures, débridements and supportive care were reported. Patients treated at teaching hospitals had longer length of stay, greater hospital charges and a higher case fatality rate. Patient related predictors of mortality were increasing age (adjusted OR 4.0 to 15.0), Charlson comorbidity index (adjusted OR 1.20 per additional comorbidity), preexisting conditions, ie congestive heart failure (adjusted OR 2.1), renal failure (adjusted OR 3.2) and coagulopathy (adjusted OR 3.4), and hospital admission via transfer (adjusted OR 1.9), after adjusting for hospital factors and Fournier's gangrene experience. Teaching hospitals had higher mortality due primarily to more acutely ill patients (adjusted OR 1.9). Hospitals where more than 1 Fournier's gangrene case per year were treated had 42% to 84% lower mortality after adjusting for patient age, race, Charlson comorbidity index and admission via transfer (p <0.0001).
Teaching and nonteaching hospitals differ substantially in the populations, case definitions, and severity and management of Fournier's gangrene. Hospitals where more patients with Fournier's gangrene were treated had lower mortality rates, supporting the rationale for regionalized care for this rare disease.
penis; fasciitis, necrotizing; hospitals; mortality; genitalia, male
Despite advances in medical and surgical techniques, older adults tend to be at high risk for adverse outcomes following burn injury. The purpose of this study was to examine the relative impacts of age and medical comorbidities on outcome following injury in a cohort of older adults. This was a retrospective study of all patients age 55 and over admitted to the University of Washington Burn Center from 1999 to 2003. To examine the effect of baseline medical comorbidities on outcome, a Charlson Comorbidity Index score was calculated for each patient. Multivariate regression analyses were used to examine the impact of age and comorbidities on mortality and other complications. Patient records were also matched with the National Death Index to determine the effects of age and comorbidities on mortality within 1 year following hospital discharge. A total of 325 patients who were of 55 years and older were admitted to the burn center during the 5-year study period. The overall mortality rate was 18.5%. Mortality was independently associated with age, inhalation injury, and burn size. One-year mortality was significantly associated with those older than age 75 and the Charlson score. Longer length of stay was significantly associated with burn size, inhalation injury, and total number of in-hospital complications. This study demonstrates that patient age—independent of baseline medical comorbidities—and TBSA burn are the most significant factors impacting in-hospital mortality risk following burn injury. Higher number of medical comorbidities was associated with increased mortality risk within 1 year following discharge.