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A fate worse than death? Long-term outcome of trauma patients admitted to the surgical intensive care unit.
J Trauma. 2009 Aug; 67(2):341-8; discussion 348-9.JT

Abstract

INTRODUCTION

Trauma centers successfully save lives of severely injured patients who would have formerly died. However, survivors often have multiple complications and morbidities associated with prolonged intensive care unit (ICU) stays. Because the reintegration of patients into the society to lead an active and a productive life is the ultimate goal of trauma center care, we questioned whether our "success" may condemn these patients to a fate worse than death?

METHODS

Charts on all patients > or =18 years with ICU stay > or =10 days, discharged alive between June 1, 2002, and May 31, 2005, were reviewed. Patients with complete spinal cord injuries were excluded. Demographics, Injury Severity Score (ISS), presence of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI; Head Abbreviated Injury Scale [AIS] score = 4 or 5), presence of extremity fractures, need for operative procedures, ventilator days, complications, and discharge disposition were collected. Glasgow Outcome Scale score was calculated on discharge. Patients were contacted by phone to determine general health, work status, and using this data, Glasgow Outcome Scale score and a modified Functional Independence Measure (FIM) score were calculated.

RESULTS

Two hundred and forty-one patients met inclusion criteria. Thirty-three patients died postdischarge from the hospital and 39 were known to be alive from the electronic medical records but were unable to be contacted. Sixty-nine patients could not be tracked down and were ultimately considered as lost to follow-up. The remaining 100 patients who were successfully contacted participated in the study. Eighty-one percent were men with a mean age of 42 years, mean and median ISS of 28. Severe TBI was present in 50 (50%) patients. Mean and median follow-up was 3.3 years from discharge. At the time of follow-up, 92 (92%) patients were living at home, 5 in nursing homes, and 3 in assisted living, a shelter, or halfway house. FIM scores ranged from 6 to 12 with 55% reached a maximal FIM score of 12. One quarter of patients had FIM scores < or =10 and 10% had locomotion scores of < or =2 (very dependent). Seventy percent considered themselves to be less active. Seventy-six patients were either working or in full-time school before their trauma. Of the 24 patients not working preinjury, 12 were > or =55 years of age. At the time of follow-up, 37 patients (49%) were back to work or school. Severe TBI patients (57%, 21 of 37) were less likely to return to work when compared with 38% (12 of 38; p = 0.03) without severe TBI. There was no relationship with age, ISS, presence of any TBI, head AIS, presence of any extremity fracture, extremity AIS, or ventilator days in patients who did or did not return to work.

CONCLUSIONS

These data demonstrate that ICU survivors >3 years after severe injury have significant impairments including inability to return to work or regain previous levels of activity and that the goal of reintegrating patients back into the society is not being met. Further studies better defining the limitations and barriers to improved quality of life are necessary. Survival, although important, is no longer a sufficient outcome to measure trauma center success.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Division of Trauma, Department of Surgery, UMDNJ - New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey 07103-2406, USA. livingst@umdnj.eduNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

19667888

Citation

Livingston, David H., et al. "A Fate Worse Than Death? Long-term Outcome of Trauma Patients Admitted to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit." The Journal of Trauma, vol. 67, no. 2, 2009, pp. 341-8; discussion 348-9.
Livingston DH, Tripp T, Biggs C, et al. A fate worse than death? Long-term outcome of trauma patients admitted to the surgical intensive care unit. J Trauma. 2009;67(2):341-8; discussion 348-9.
Livingston, D. H., Tripp, T., Biggs, C., & Lavery, R. F. (2009). A fate worse than death? Long-term outcome of trauma patients admitted to the surgical intensive care unit. The Journal of Trauma, 67(2), 341-8; discussion 348-9. https://doi.org/10.1097/TA.0b013e3181a5cc34
Livingston DH, et al. A Fate Worse Than Death? Long-term Outcome of Trauma Patients Admitted to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit. J Trauma. 2009;67(2):341-8; discussion 348-9. PubMed PMID: 19667888.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - A fate worse than death? Long-term outcome of trauma patients admitted to the surgical intensive care unit. AU - Livingston,David H, AU - Tripp,Tovah, AU - Biggs,Carina, AU - Lavery,Robert F, PY - 2009/8/12/entrez PY - 2009/8/12/pubmed PY - 2009/9/18/medline SP - 341-8; discussion 348-9 JF - The Journal of trauma JO - J Trauma VL - 67 IS - 2 N2 - INTRODUCTION: Trauma centers successfully save lives of severely injured patients who would have formerly died. However, survivors often have multiple complications and morbidities associated with prolonged intensive care unit (ICU) stays. Because the reintegration of patients into the society to lead an active and a productive life is the ultimate goal of trauma center care, we questioned whether our "success" may condemn these patients to a fate worse than death? METHODS: Charts on all patients > or =18 years with ICU stay > or =10 days, discharged alive between June 1, 2002, and May 31, 2005, were reviewed. Patients with complete spinal cord injuries were excluded. Demographics, Injury Severity Score (ISS), presence of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI; Head Abbreviated Injury Scale [AIS] score = 4 or 5), presence of extremity fractures, need for operative procedures, ventilator days, complications, and discharge disposition were collected. Glasgow Outcome Scale score was calculated on discharge. Patients were contacted by phone to determine general health, work status, and using this data, Glasgow Outcome Scale score and a modified Functional Independence Measure (FIM) score were calculated. RESULTS: Two hundred and forty-one patients met inclusion criteria. Thirty-three patients died postdischarge from the hospital and 39 were known to be alive from the electronic medical records but were unable to be contacted. Sixty-nine patients could not be tracked down and were ultimately considered as lost to follow-up. The remaining 100 patients who were successfully contacted participated in the study. Eighty-one percent were men with a mean age of 42 years, mean and median ISS of 28. Severe TBI was present in 50 (50%) patients. Mean and median follow-up was 3.3 years from discharge. At the time of follow-up, 92 (92%) patients were living at home, 5 in nursing homes, and 3 in assisted living, a shelter, or halfway house. FIM scores ranged from 6 to 12 with 55% reached a maximal FIM score of 12. One quarter of patients had FIM scores < or =10 and 10% had locomotion scores of < or =2 (very dependent). Seventy percent considered themselves to be less active. Seventy-six patients were either working or in full-time school before their trauma. Of the 24 patients not working preinjury, 12 were > or =55 years of age. At the time of follow-up, 37 patients (49%) were back to work or school. Severe TBI patients (57%, 21 of 37) were less likely to return to work when compared with 38% (12 of 38; p = 0.03) without severe TBI. There was no relationship with age, ISS, presence of any TBI, head AIS, presence of any extremity fracture, extremity AIS, or ventilator days in patients who did or did not return to work. CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate that ICU survivors >3 years after severe injury have significant impairments including inability to return to work or regain previous levels of activity and that the goal of reintegrating patients back into the society is not being met. Further studies better defining the limitations and barriers to improved quality of life are necessary. Survival, although important, is no longer a sufficient outcome to measure trauma center success. SN - 1529-8809 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19667888/A_fate_worse_than_death_Long_term_outcome_of_trauma_patients_admitted_to_the_surgical_intensive_care_unit_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1097/TA.0b013e3181a5cc34 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -