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Emerg Med J. 2002 Nov;19(6):520-3.

Lack of change in trauma care in England and Wales since 1994.

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Trauma Audit and Research Network, University of Manchester, Salford, Manchester, UK.

Erratum in

  • Emerg Med J. 2003 Mar;20(2):208.


To demonstrate trends in trauma care in England and Wales from 1989 to 2000.


Database of the Trauma Audit and Research Network that includes hospital patients admitted for three days or more, those who died, were transferred or admitted to an intensive care or high dependency area.


To demonstrate trends in outcome, severity adjusted odds of death per year of admission to hospital were calculated for all hospitals (n=99) and 20 hospitals who had participated since 1989 (adjustments are for Injury Severity Score, age, and Revised Trauma Score). The grade of doctor initially seeing the injured patient in accident and emergency and median prehospital times per year of admission were calculated to demonstrate trends in the process of care. Trend analyses were carried out using simple linear regression (odds ratio versus year).


The analysis shows a significant reduction in the severity adjusted odds of death of 3% per year over the 1989-2000 time period (p=0.001). During the period 1989-1994 the odds of death declined most steeply (on average 6% per year p=0.004). Between 1994 to 2000 no significant change occurred (p=0.35). This pattern was mirrored by the 20 permanent members where the odds of death also declined more steeply over the 1989-1994 period. The percentage of severely injured patients (ISS >15) seen by a consultant increased from 29 to 40 from 1989-1994 but has remained static subsequently. Median prehospital times for severely injured patients have not changed significantly since 1994 (51 to 45 minutes).


Most of the case fatality reduction for trauma patients reaching hospital over the 1989-2000 time period occurred before 1995 when there was most marked change in the initial care of severely injured patients.

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