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J Emerg Med. 2008 Nov;35(4):415-20. Epub 2007 Oct 15.

Interhospital transfer occurs more slowly for elderly acute trauma patients.

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Department of Surgery, University of California, Davis, Medical Center, Sacramento, California 95817, USA.


The objective of this study was to determine whether elderly acutely injured patients take longer to be transferred from referring hospitals to a regional trauma center than younger patients. We reviewed all trauma patients transferred urgently to a regional trauma center over 2 years. We considered age>or=65 years to be elderly. We performed multivariable linear regression to determine the extra time spent at the referring hospital attributable to elderly status, after adjustment for confounders. For 371 transfers, mean Injury Severity Score was 12, and 12% of patients had hypotension before transfer. Mean time spent at the referring hospital was 233+/-110 min. After adjustment for confounders, including Injury Severity Score and computed tomography (CT) scanning before transfer, elderly patients spent 32 min more at referring hospitals than non-elderly patients (95% confidence interval 1-63 min). We conclude that interhospital transfer of elderly acutely injured trauma patients takes longer than for younger patients. Providers may be less aggressive in treating elderly trauma patients.

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