Long-term mortality rates worse for trauma patients: study

March 16, 2011

Chicago – Trauma patients have a higher rate of death following an injury, finds research from the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center in Seattle.

In a 14-year study of more than 120,000 adult trauma patients in Washington state, 16 percent died within three years of their injuries, compared with an expected rate of 6 percent, according to a study abstract. Patients who were discharged to a skilled nursing facility had a significantly higher risk of death than those who were sent home without assistance.

Researchers said future studies on surgical patients should focus on outcomes longer than the standard reporting of 30-day mortality.

The study appeared in the March 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.