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Surgeon. 2012 Dec;10(6):334-8. doi: 10.1016/j.surge.2011.08.006. Epub 2011 Oct 6.

A review of major trauma admissions to a tertiary adult referral hospital over a ten year period: fewer patients, similar survival.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.



Trauma is an important cause for presentation to the emergency department, representing a significant number of emergency surgical admissions. Societal changes result in alterations in the epidemiology of trauma.


This study aimed to review patients admitted to a tertiary referral hospital as a result of traumatic injuries, assessing for changes in admission epidemiology.


Trauma admissions over two year-long periods a decade apart were reviewed. The Trauma Audit and Research Network (TARN) audit system identified admissions and transfers between June 2006 and May 2007. The Hospital In-Patient Enquiry (HIPE) system identified those fulfilling TARN criteria a decade earlier. Comparative analysis was performed on the dataset.


There were 367 trauma admissions between June 2006 and May 2007: 88 road traffic accidents (RTAs), 201 falls and 77 other injuries, with 627 admissions a decade earlier: 286 RTAs, 247 falls and 94 others. Males comprised 72% and 69% of RTA admissions in both periods respectively. Firearm-related injuries increased significantly (p = 0.015). Neurosurgical transfers decreased from 256 to 150 with a slight increase in unadjusted overall mortality from 8.5% to 10.9%. Admissions of patients aged less than 19 reduced from 150 to 59 (p = 0.0031) with a similar trend in those aged between 20 and 29 years from 149 to 78.


Admissions resulting from RTAs and of patients aged under 30 reduced significantly, however, young males remain the most affected sub-group. Firearm injuries increased significantly, a worrying trend in view of the severity of injury sustained by these victims.

Copyright © 2011 Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (Scottish charity number SC005317) and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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