Emergency department length of stay in critical nonoperative trauma.J Surg Res. 2017 06 15; 214:102-108.JS
Prolonged emergency department (ED) stays correlate with negative outcomes in critically ill nontrauma patients. This study sought to determine the effect of ED length of stay (LOS) on trauma patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Two hundred forty-one trauma patients requiring direct intensive care unit (ICU) admission were identified. Patients requiring immediate operative intervention were excluded. Odds ratios (ORs) of outcomes for patients transferred to ICU in ≤90 min were compared with patients transferred in >90 min, adjusting for Injury Severity Score (ISS).
One hundred two of 241 patients (42%) were transferred to the ICU in ≤90 min. Increased ED LOS was associated with decreased complications (OR 0.545, 95% confidence interval 0.312-0.952). Although the result was not statistically significant, patients with an ISS >15 were less likely to have long ED stays (OR 0.725, 95% CI 0.407-1.290). No significant difference was seen in mortality. No difference in duration of intubation was observed for patients intubated in the ED versus the ICU. For the subgroup with ISS ≤15, there was a significant decrease in ICU LOS for patients who remained in the ED >90 min (5.5 d versus 2.7 d, P = 0.02). No other differences in LOS were identified.
In a mature trauma center with standardized activation protocols and focused resource allocation in the ED trauma bay, trauma activation and subsequent management appear to mitigate the negative effects of prolonged ED LOS seen in other critically ill populations.