Purpose: The incidence of multiple trauma is increasing nowadays and is the leading cause of death among young adults. Initial treatment is well known to be crucial in multiple trauma victims. However, many indiscriminate transfers occur due to the lack of a well-organized trauma system in Korea. The objective of this study is to demonstrate the current serious state in which major trauma patients are transferred to the Emergency Medical Center of a university hospital from another medical center.
Methods: From November 2009 to October 2010, we performed a retrospective study to analyze the characteristics of patients who visited the Ajou University Medical Center located in Gyeonggi-do. We evaluated the ISS (injury severity score), and a score over 15 point was identified as major trauma. The major trauma patients were separated into two groups according to the visit route, and the characteristics of each group were analyzed.
Results: Among the 88,862 patients who visited to the Emergency Medical Center, trauma patients accounted for 19,950, and 343 of them were evaluated as major trauma patients. Among the 343 patients, 170 patients had been transferred from other medical centers. The proportion of males to females was 3.3:1, and the mean ISS was 22.7. The leading cause of trauma was motor vehicle accidents. Of the total 170 patients, 77.6% were admitted to the Intensive care unit and 36.3% underwent surgery. The 170 patients that had been transferred to our medical center, 78.8% were transferred from Gyeonggi-do, 15.3% were transferred from other regions, and 5.9% were miscellaneous.
Conclusion: Almost half of the major trauma victims treat at our medical center had been transferred from other medical centers. Establishing a traumatic system, supported by well-organized trauma centers and emergency medical services, that can reduce inappropriate transfers among medical facilities is essential.
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