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The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a 911 trauma re-triage protocol implemented at a new community hospital in a region with a high volume of trauma and frequent transports by private vehicle.
This retrospective cohort study included all trauma patients ≥15 years old transferred via 911 trauma re-triage from a new community hospital over a 10-month period from August 2015 through April 2016. Criteria for 911 trauma re-triage were developed with input from local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and trauma experts. An educational module, along with the criteria and implementation steps, was distributed to the emergency department (ED) personnel at the community hospital. Data were abstracted from the regional trauma registry, and the EMS patient care records were reviewed. Primary outcomes were: (1) median total transport time; and (2) proportion of patients who met the 911 re-triage criteria.
During the study period, 32 patients with traumatic injuries were transferred via 911 re-triage to the closest trauma center (TC). The median age of patients was 31 years (IQR 24-45 years) with 78% male and 66% suffering from a penetrating mechanism. The median prehospital provider scene time was 10 minutes (IQR 8-12 minutes) and transport time was seven minutes (IQR 6-9 minutes). Median total transport time was 17 minutes (IQR 15-20 minutes). Seventeen patients (53%) met 911 re-triage criteria as determined by study investigators. The most common criteria met was “penetrating injury to the head, neck, or torso” in 14 cases.
This study demonstrated that 911 re-triage was a feasible strategy to expeditiously transfer critical trauma patients to a TC within a mature trauma system in an urban-suburban setting with a median total transport time of 17 minutes.
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