Introduction: The aim of the study was to compare patient characteristics and mortality in severely injured patients in two trauma centres located in different countries, allowing for differences in case-mix. It represents a direct bench-marking exercise between the trauma centres at the North Staffordshire Hospital (NSH), Stoke-on-Trent, UK and the Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) Hospital, Portland, Oregon, USA. Methods: Patients of all ages admitted to the two hospitals during 1995 and 1996 with an Injury Severity Score >15 were included, except for those who died in the emergency departments. Twenty-three factors were studied, including the Injury Severity Score, Glasgow Coma Score, mechanism of injury and anatomical site of injury. Outcome analysis was based on mortality at discharge. Results: The pattern of trauma differed significantly between Stoke and Portland. Patients from Stoke tended to be older, presented with a lower conscious level and a lower systolic blood pressure and were intubated less frequently before arriving at hospital. Mortality depended on similar factors in both centres, especially age, highest AIS score, systolic blood pressure and Glasgow Coma Score.The crude analysis of mortality showed a highly significant odds-ratio of 1.64 in Stoke compared with Portland. Single-factor adjustments were made for the above four factors, which had a similar influence on mortality in both centres. Adjusting for the first three factors individually did not alter the odds-ratio, which stayed in the range 1.53-1.59 and remained highly significant. Adjusting for the Glasgow Coma Score reduced the odds-ratio to 0.82 and rendered it non-significant. In a multi-factor logistic regression model incorporating all of the factors shown to influence mortality in either centre, the odds-ratio was 1.7 but was not significant. Conclusion: The analysis illustrates the limitations and pitfalls of making crude outcome comparisons between centres. Highly significant differences in crude mortality were rendered non-significant by case-mix adjustments, supporting the null hypothesis that the two centres were equally effective in terms of this short-term indicator of outcome. To achieve a meaningful comparison between centres, adjustments must be made for the factors which affect mortality. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine