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World J Surg. 2012 Sep;36(9):2108-18. doi: 10.1007/s00268-012-1637-6.

Trauma care and case fatality during a period of frequent, violent terror attacks and thereafter.

Author information

1
Department of General Surgery and Shock Trauma Unit, Hebrew University Hadassah Medical Center (Ein Kerem), P.O.B. 12000, 91120 Jerusalem, Israel. avir@hadassah.org.il

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

From September 1999 through January 2004 during the second Intifada (al-Aqsa), there were frequent terror attacks in Jerusalem. We assessed the effects on case fatality of introducing a specialized, intensified approach to trauma care at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Hospital Shock Trauma Unit (HHSTU) and other level I Israeli trauma units. This approach included close senior supervision of prehospital triage, transport, and all surgical procedures and longer hospital stays despite high patient-staff ratios and low hospital budgets. Care for lower income patients also was subsidized.

METHODS:

We tracked case fatality rates (CFRs) initially during a period of terror attacks (1999-2003) in 8,127 patients (190 deaths) at HHSTU in subgroups categorized by age, injury circumstances, and injury severity scores (ISSs). Our comparisons were four other Israeli level I trauma centers (n = 2,000 patients), and 51 level I U.S. trauma centers (n = 265,902 patients; 15,237 deaths). Detailed HHSTU follow-up continued to 2010.

RESULTS:

Five-year HHSTU CFR (2.62 %) was less than half that in 51 U.S. centers (5.73 %). CFR progressively decreased; in contrast to a rising trend in the US for all age groups, injury types, and ISS groupings, including gunshot wounds (GSW). Patients with ISS > 25 accounted for 170 (89 %) of the 190 deaths in HHSTU. Forty-one lives were saved notionally based on U.S. CFRs within this group. However, far more lives were saved from reductions in low CFRs in large numbers of patients with ISS < 25. CFRs in HHSTU and other Israeli trauma units decreased more through the decade to 1.9 % up to 2010.

CONCLUSIONS:

Sustained reductions in trauma unit CFRs followed introduction of a specialized, intensified approach to trauma care.

PMID:
22588239
DOI:
10.1007/s00268-012-1637-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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