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HOME > J Korean Soc Traumatol > Volume 23(2); 2010 > Article
Early Traumatic Deaths
Seung Won Paik, Chul Han, Yun Sik Hong, Sung Hyuk Choi, Sung Woo Lee, Sung Woo Moon, Young Hoon Yoon, Woo Sung Yu, Duk Hwan Kim
Journal of Trauma and Injury 2010;23(2):75-82
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Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.

In Korea, trauma is the 3rd most common cause of death. The trauma treatment system is divided into pre-hospital and hospital stages. Deaths occurring in the pre-hospital stage are 50% of the total death, and 20% of those are deaths that are preventable. Therefore, the purpose of our study is to calculate the preventable death rates caused by trauma in our current pre-hospital system, to analyze the appropriateness of the treatment of traumatized patients and to draw a conclusions about the problems we have.
The study was done on traumatized patients who expired at the emergency department from January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2009, at the Korea University Medical Centers in Anam, Guro and Ansan. The data on the patients were reviewed retrospectively based on characteristics, conditions on admission and trauma severity. The patient's RTS (revised trauma score) and ISS (injury severity score) was calculated. Preventable death rate was calculated by TRISS (the trauma score-injury severity score).
A total of 168 patients were enrolled. All patients were intubated and underwent CPR. Of the total, 72% patients were male, and traffic accidents were the most common form of trauma (52.4%), falls being second (28.6%). Head injury, solitary or multiple, was the most common cause of death (55.4%). Thirty-eight (38, 22.6%) deaths were preventable. The 22.6% preventable death rate consisted of 15.5% potentially preventable and 7.1% definitely preventable deaths. Based on a logistic regression analysis, the relationship between the time intervals until transfusion and imaging and death was statistically significant in the hospital stage. In the pre-hospital stage, transit time from the site of the injury to the hospital showed a significant relationship with the mortality rate.
One hundred sixty-eight (168) patients died of trauma at the 3 hospitals of Korea University Medical Center. The TRISS method was used to calculate the preventable death rate, with a result of 22.6%. The only factor that was significant related to the preventable death rate in the pre-hospital stage was the time from injury to hospital arrival, and the time intervals until transfusion and imaging were the two factors that showed significance in the hospital stage. Shortening the time of treatment in the field and transferring the patient to the hospital as quickly as possible is the most important life-saving step in the pre-hospital stage. In the hospital stage, the primary survey, resuscitation and diagnosis should proceed simultaneously.

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