Older patients may fare better in trauma centers that treat more of their peers

January 22, 2014
Older patients may fare better in trauma centers that treat more of their peers
Study also found they do worse in hospitals with higher volumes of young patients.

(HealthDay)—Older trauma-injury patients are less likely to have major complications or die if they're treated at trauma centers that care for large numbers of older patients, according to a new study.

Researchers examined data from nearly 40,000 older patients and more than 105,000 younger patients treated at trauma centers in Pennsylvania between 2001 and 2010. The study was published online Jan. 22 in the journal JAMA Surgery.

The risk of in-hospital death, death after and death after major complications such as respiratory failure, kidney failure and heart attack was lower among older patients who were treated in trauma centers with higher volumes of older patients, according to a journal news release.

The risk of major complications was higher among treated at that dealt with higher numbers of younger patients.

"These results should help focus the discussion about how to allocate [older] to appropriate receiving centers," said study author Dr. Kazuhide Matsushima, of the University of Southern California.

The researchers noted that previous research has shown a link between higher hospital volume and lower death rates in complex surgical procedures.

Explore further: Trauma centers serving mostly white patients have lower death rates for patients of all races

More information: The American College of Emergency Physicians offers injury prevention tips.

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