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Journal Article


Candefjord S, Asker L, Caragounis EC. Eur. J. Trauma Emerg. Surg. 2020; ePub(ePub): ePub.


(Copyright © 2020, Holtzbrinck Springer Nature Publishing Group)






OBJECTIVE: The main objective was to compare the 30-day mortality rate of trauma patients treated at trauma centers as compared to non-trauma centers in Sweden. The secondary objective was to evaluate how injury severity influences the potential survival benefit of specialized care.

METHODS: This retrospective study included 29,864 patients from the national Swedish Trauma Registry (SweTrau) during the period 2013-2017. Three sampling exclusion criteria were applied: (1) Injury Severity Score (ISS) of zero; (2) missing data in any variable of interest; (3) data falling outside realistic values and duplicate registrations. University hospitals were classified as trauma centers; other hospitals as non-trauma centers. Logistic regression was used to analyze the effect of trauma center care on mortality rate, while adjusting for other factors potentially affecting the risk of death.

RESULTS: Treatment at a trauma center in Sweden was associated with a 41% lower adjusted 30-day mortality (odds ratio 0.59 [0.50-0.70], p < 0.0001) compared to non-trauma center care, considering all injured patients (ISS ≥ 1). The potential survival benefit increased substantially with higher injury severity, with up to > 70% mortality decrease for the most critically injured group (ISS ≥ 50).

CONCLUSIONS: There exists a potentially substantial survival benefit for trauma patients treated at trauma centers in Sweden, especially for the most severely injured. This study motivates a critical review and possible reorganization of the national trauma system, and further research to identify the characteristics of patients in most need of specialized care.

Language: en


Trauma; Mortality; Triage; SweTrau; Trauma center; Trauma system


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