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Journal Article

Citation

Fern KT, Smith JT, Zee B, Lee A, Borschneck D, Pichora DR. J. Trauma 1998; 45(3): 489-494.

Affiliation

Division of Orthopaedic Surgery and Trauma Service, Kingston General Hospital, Ontario, Canada.

Copyright

(Copyright © 1998, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

9751538

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Trauma patients with multiple extremity injuries (MEI) make heavy demands on hospital resources and face long-term difficulties in rehabilitation, yet the literature contains little about their treatment as a distinct group. METHODS: In this study, a cohort of 54 patients with MEI, all treated at a Level I trauma center, was compared with a trauma control (TC) group that had major injuries not focused at the extremities (but excluding patients with neurologic sequelae of head or spinal cord injuries). Demographic features, primary measures reflecting utilization of hospital resources, return-to-employment and productivity data, and health-related quality of life scores (Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form Health Survey [SF-36]) were compared. RESULTS: Although mean Injury Severity Scores (ISS) for the MEI and TC groups were almost identical (16.2 and 17.4, respectively), the patients with MEI had a mean hospital stay almost twice as long (25 vs. 13 days) and had double the resource intensity weight compared with the TC group. After discharge, the trend of the MEI group was to greater long-term disability, based on SF-36 scores, and lower "return to productivity" figures. The ISS did not predict the greater demands on resources made by the MEI group relative to our TC group. Main injury severity scores for the extremities were more predictive than the ISS for length of hospital stay and the SF-36 concepts at the 2-year follow-up evaluation. CONCLUSION: The study emphasizes the need for injury scoring systems that better predict the needs of patients with MEI and that will serve as a basis for equitable funding of trauma centers.


Language: en

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