Complications and in-hospital mortality in trauma patients treated in intensive care units in the United States, 2013
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Complications and in-hospital mortality in trauma patients treated in intensive care units in the United States, 2013

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  • Alternative Title:
    Inj Epidemiol
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    Traumatic injury is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, but epidemiologic data about trauma patients who require intensive care unit (ICU) admission are scant. This study aimed to describe the annual incidence of ICU admission for adult trauma patients, including an assessment of risk factors for hospital complications and mortality in this population.


    This was a retrospective study of adults hospitalized at Level 1 and Level 2 trauma centers after trauma and recorded in the National Trauma Data Bank in 2013. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to determine predictors of hospital complications and hospital mortality for those who required ICU admission.


    There were an estimated total of 1.03 million ICU admissions for trauma at Level 1 and Level 2 trauma centers in the United States in 2013, yielding an annual incidence of 3.3 per 1000 population. The annual incidence was highest in men (4.6 versus 1.9 per 100,000 for women), those aged 80 years or older (7.8 versus 3.6–4.3 per 100,000 in other age groups), and residents in the Western US Census region (3.9 versus 2.7 to 3.6 per 100,000 in other regions). The most common complications in patients admitted to the ICU were pneumonia (10.9 %), urinary tract infection (4.7 %), and acute respiratory distress syndrome (4.4 %). Hospital mortality was significantly higher for ICU patients who developed one or more complications (16.9 % versus 10.7 % for those who did not develop any complications, p < 0.001).


    Admission to the ICU after traumatic injury is common, and almost a quarter of these patients experience hospital complications. Hospital complications are associated with significantly increased risk of mortality.

    Electronic supplementary material

    The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40621-016-0084-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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