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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 10(2); 1999 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 1999;10(2): 276-287.
Prognostic Factors of Geriatric Trauma Patients
Sung Hyuck Choi, Chul Gyu Moon, Chung Min Chun, Jun Dong Moon, Sung Woo Lee, Yun Sik Hong
BACKGROUND: It has been documented that certain prognostic factors may affect the outcomes of the old aged victims by trauma. Considering that trauma is the sixth most common cause of death in people over the age of 65 years and there is a rapid growth of elderly population, it is paramount to understand the prognostic factors when dealing with geriatric trauma patients. Hypothesis and Goals : It can be hypothesized that the prognostic factors should be determined independently between populations being consisted of different races, countries, socio-economic states, cultures, or so on. Thus, study was designed to evaluate the factors affecting the outcomes of elderly Korean trauma patients.
One hundred forty six patients aged over 65 years were retrospectively reviewed, who visited the Emergency Canter of Korea University from January, 1997 to June, 1998. Of 146 patients, 7 were excluded due to discharge against advice or transfer to the other hospitals. Parameters analysed were age, sex, mechanism of injuries, body region injured, Injury Severity Score (ISS), previous medical illness, hospital morbidity, duration of hospital stay, and cost. Each patient was classified into improved or not-improved groups depending on the outcomes, and young-old or old-old group depending on the age. The factors affecting the hospital stay in improved patients were analyzed in the parameters of previous medical illness, hospital morbidity, multiple injuries, ISS, and age. All statistical tests were conducted with two-tailed levels of 0.05.
Of 139 patients, the mean age was 74+/-7.1 years, mean ISS 9.3+/-7.26, mean hospital stay 27+/-27.1 days. Most commonly injured body region was the extremities due to fall from a level surface. Rate of previous illness showed 0.94 medical diseases per person and were aggravated after trauma in 39 patients (60.9%). Hospital morbidity rate was 0.46 incidents per person. There were no differences in age and duration of hospital stay between the improved and the not-improved group. Substantial differences were noted in affected body region, incidence of previous illness, and hospital morbidity between the groups (p=NS). Not-improved group had higher ISS (p<0.05). ISS, previous illness and hospital morbidity affected the duration of hospital stay in the improved group. Hospital stay was 40+/-25.1 days in patients with ISS over 6 while 6+/-8.6 days in those with ISS 5 (p<0.05). Hospital stay in the improved was 26+/-26.9 days while 31+/- 24.8 days in the improved old-old group (P=NS). Hospital stay in the young-old minor trauma (ISS5) patients with previous illness and hospital morbidity was 26+/-10.1 days while 4+/-7.3 days in those without previous illness and hospital morbidity (p<0.05).
Previous medical illness and hospital morbidity, not age, are predictive of outcomes of geriatric trauma patients with respect to hospital stay. As most of the hospital morbidity was a trauma-induced aggravation of previous medical illness and hospital morbidity contributing poor outcomes can be potentially avoidable, routine aggressive care far the geriatric trauma patients with previous medical illnesses is needed.
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