PURPOSE: This study was designed to provide a basis for building a master plan for a regional trauma system by analyzing the distribution of trauma deaths in the most populous province in Korea. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We investigated the time distribution to death for trauma patients who died between January and December 2017. The time distribution to death was categorized into four groups (within a day, within a week, within a month, and over a month). Additionally, the distribution of deaths within 24 hours was further analyzed. We also reviewed the distribution of deaths according to the cause of death and mechanism of injury. RESULTS: Of the 1546 trauma deaths, 328 cases were included in the final study population. Patients who died within a day were the most prevalent (40.9%). Of those who died within a day, the cases within an hour accounted for 40.3% of the highest proportion. The majority of trauma deaths within 4 hours were caused by traffic-related accidents (60.4%). The deaths caused by bleeding and central nervous system injuries accounted for most (70.1%) of the early deaths, whereas multi-organ dysfunction syndrome/sepsis had the highest ratio (69.7%) in the late deaths. Statistically significant differences were found in time distribution according to the mechanism of injury and cause of death (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: The distribution of overall timing of death was shown to follow a bimodal pattern rather than a trimodal model in Korea. Based on our findings, a suitable and modified trauma system must be developed.
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