Motor Vehicle Crash–Related Mortality Is Associated with Prehospital and Hospital-Based Resource Availability

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Background To date, attempts to assess the relationship between motor vehicle collision (MVC)-related mortality and medical resources availability have largely been unsuccessful.Methods Information regarding sociodemographic characteristics, prehospital resources, and hospital-based resources for each county (n = 67) in the state of Alabama was obtained. MVC-related mortality rates (deaths per 1,000 collisions) by county were calculated and compared according to prehospital and hospital-based resource availability within each county after correcting for sociodemographic factors.Results Counties with 24-hour availability of a general surgeon, orthopedic surgeon, neurosurgeon, computed tomographic scanner, and operating room were shown to have decreased MVC-related mortality (relative risk [RR], 0.88). The same was true for those counties with hospitals classified as Level I-II (RR, 0.71) and Level III-IV (RR, 0.83) trauma centers compared with counties with no trauma centers.Conclusion Appropriate, readily available hospital-based resources are associated with lower MVC-related mortality rates. This information may be useful in trauma system planning and development.

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