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Risk factors and mortality associated with undertriage at a level I safety-net trauma center: a retrospective study

Authors Barsi C, Harris P, Menaik R, Reis NC, Munnangi S, Elfond M

Received 16 July 2016

Accepted for publication 29 August 2016

Published 8 November 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 103—110


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Hans-Christoph Pape

Chris Barsi, Peter Harris, Rich Menaik, Nicholas C Reis, Swapna Munnangi, Mikhail Elfond

Department of Emergency Medicine, Nassau University Medical Center, East Meadow, NY, USA

Purpose: The primary objective of this study was to determine the risk factors associated with undertriage and the risk factors for mortality among the undertriaged patients at a level I safety-net trauma center.
Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed of all trauma patients who presented to a level I safety-net trauma center with an injury severity score >15 over a 2-year period (2013–2014). Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were used to determine the risk factors predictive of undertriage in major trauma patients (injury severity score >15) and of mortality in undertriaged patients.
Results: During the 2-year study period, 334 of 2,485 admitted trauma patients presented with major trauma and were included in our study. From the univariate analysis, variables that were found to be independently associated with mortality in undertriaged patients included intubation, Glasgow Coma Scale score, revised trauma score, and dementia. Independent risk factors that were found to be significantly associated with undertriage in severely injured trauma patients included Glasgow Coma Scale score, motor vehicle crash, falls, revised trauma score, systolic blood pressure, heart rate, intubation, and dementia. When a multivariate analysis was performed to evaluate the statistically significant risk factors, dementia was found to be significantly associated with undertriage in severely injured trauma patients.
Conclusion: Severely injured trauma patients with dementia are at significant risk for undertriage. Early identification of these risk factors while triaging at a level I safety-net trauma center could translate into improved patient outcomes following severe trauma.

Keywords: dementia, multi-tier trauma team activation, injury severity score, trauma activation guidelines

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