(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 surgical complications 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 older patients treated at trauma centers that dealt with higher numbers of younger patients.
"These results should help focus the discussion about how to allocate [older] trauma patients 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.
The American College of Emergency Physicians offers injury prevention tips.