Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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CLINICAL INVESTIGATIONS
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 41-46

A comparison of rural versus urban trauma care


1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; The Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Harbor-UCLA, Torrance, CA, USA; The Gertner Institute for Epidemiology and Health Policy Research, Tel Hashomer, Israel
2 The North-Coast Emergency Medical Services Agency, Humboldt, CA, USA
3 Department of Emergency Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; The Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Harbor-UCLA, Torrance; Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA
4 Department of Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; The Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Harbor-UCLA, Torrance, CA, USA
5 Department of Surgery, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; The Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Harbor-UCLA, Torrance; Department of Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA
6 Department of Surgery, UCLA Medical Center; Department of Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA
7 Department of Nursing, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; The Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Harbor-UCLA, Torrance, CA, USA
8 Department of Emergency Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; The Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Harbor-UCLA, Torrance, CA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Marianne Gausche-Hill
Department of Emergency Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; The Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Harbor-UCLA, Torrance; Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA

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Source of Support: Supported in part by grants from the State of California Emergency Medical Services Authority (Federal Block Grant Fund numbers - 4016, 4062, 1994-1995)., Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-2700.125639

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Objective: We compared the survival of trauma patients in urban versus rural settings after the implementation of a novel rural non-trauma center alternative care model called the Model Rural Trauma Project (MRTP). Materials and Methods: We conducted an observational cohort study of all trauma patients brought to eight rural northern California hospitals and two southern California urban trauma centers over a one-year period (1995-1996). Trauma patients with an injury severity score (ISS) of >10 were included in the study. We used logistic regression to assess disparities in odds of survival while controlling for Trauma and Injury Severity Score (TRISS) parameters. Results: A total of 1,122 trauma patients met criteria for this study, with 336 (30%) from the rural setting. The urban population was more seriously injured with a higher median ISS (17 urban and 14 rural) and a lower Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) (GCS 14 urban and 15 rural). Patients in urban trauma centers were more likely to suffer penetrating trauma (25% urban versus 9% rural). After correcting for differences in patient population, the mortality associated with being treated in a rural hospital (OR 0.73; 95% CI 0.39 to 1.39) was not significantly different than an urban trauma center. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that rural and urban trauma patients are inherently different. The rural system utilized in this study, with low volume and high blunt trauma rates, can effectively care for its population of trauma patients with an enhanced, committed trauma system, which allows for expeditious movement of patients toward definitive care.


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