BACKGROUND: The temporal distribution of trauma mortality has been classically described as a trimodal pattern with an immediate, early and late peak. In modern health care systems this time distribution has changed.
METHODS: Data from the TraumaRegister DGU was analysed retrospectively. Between 2002 and 2015, all registered in-hospital deaths with an Injury Severity Score (ISS) ≥ 16 were evaluated considering time of death, trauma mechanism, injured body area, age distribution, rates of sepsis and multiple organ failure. Pre-hospital and post-discharge trauma deaths were not considered.
RESULTS: 78 310 severely injured patients were registered, non-survivors constituted 14 816, representing an in-hospital mortality rate of 18.9%. Mean ISS of non-survivors was 36.0±16.0, 66.7% were male, mean age was 59.5±23.5. Within the first hour after admission to hospital, 10.8% of deaths occurred, after 6 hours the percentage increased to 25.5%, after 12 hours 40.0%, after 24 hours 53.2% and within the first 48 hours 61.9%. Mortality showed a constant temporal decrease. Severe head injury (defined by Abbreviated Injury Scale, AIS-Head≥3) was found in 76.4% of non-survivors. Patients with an isolated head injury showed a more distinct decrease in survival rate, which was accentuated in the first days after admission. The correlation of age and time of death showed a proportional increase with age (55-74a). The rate of sepsis and multiple organ failure among non-survivors was 11.5% and 70.1%, respectively.
CONCLUSION: In a modern trauma care system, the mortality distribution of severely injured patients has changed its pattern, where especially the third peak is no longer detectable.
- MULTIPLE-ORGAN FAILURE
- TRAUMA DEATHS
- TRIMODAL DISTRIBUTION