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Am J Surg. 2012 Apr;203(4):454-60. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2011.04.006. Epub 2011 Sep 9.

Two hospitals with 1 trauma system: a joint approach to the care of the injured patient.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-3280, USA.



Trauma centers are closing at an alarming rate, but the need for trauma care persists. This article shows the sustainability and feasibility of a joint trauma system whereby 2 university-affiliated hospitals function as a single trauma center system in a moderate-sized city.


Since 1994, 3 days per week, trauma patients are transported by emergency medical services (EMS) to hospital A. The other 4 days they are transported to hospital B. Trauma registry data from 1994 to 2008 were analyzed. Cost data were also examined.


The joint system admitted 28,338 trauma patients. On each center's nontrauma days, trauma team activation was required infrequently. The 2 centers share costs; they perform joint outreach, educational training, and quality control. The joint trauma system has been sustained since 1994.


Two hospitals functioning as a single trauma center system is a viable model of care for injured patients in a moderate-sized city with mostly blunt trauma.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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