Background: Trauma is associated with a significant risk of post-trauma complications (PTCs). These include thromboembolic events, strokes, infections, and failure of organ systems (eg, kidney failure). Although care of the trauma patient has evolved during the last decade, whether this has resulted in a reduction in specific PTCs is unknown. We hypothesize that the incidence of PTCs has been decreasing during a 10-year period from 2007 to 2017.
Methods: This is a descriptive study of trauma patients originating from level 1, 2, 3, and 4 trauma centers in the USA, obtained via the Trauma Quality Improvement Program (TQIP) database from 2007 to 2017. PTCs documented throughout the time frame were extracted along with demographic variables. Multiple regression modeling was used to associate admission year with PTCs, while controlling for age, gender, Glasgow Coma Scale score, and Injury Severity Score.
Results: Data from 8 720 026 trauma patients were extracted from the TQIP database. A total of 366 768 patients experienced one or more PTCs. There was a general decrease in the incidence of PTCs during the study period, with the overall incidence dropping from 7.0% in 2007 to 2.8% in 2017. Multiple regression identified a slight decrease in incidence in all PTCs, although deep surgical site infection (SSI), deep venous thrombosis (DVT), and stroke incidences increased when controlled for confounders.
Discussion: Overall the incidence of PTCs dropped during the 10-year study period, although deep SSI, DVT, stroke, and cardiac arrest increased during the study period. Better risk prediction tools, enabling a precision medicine approach, are warranted to identify at-risk patients.
Level of evidence: III.
- multiple trauma
- postoperative complications