Should Level I Trauma Centers Be Rated NC-17?

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BackgroundPrevious studies have reached contradictory conclusions regarding where injured children are best treated. Our hypothesis was that no differences in survival outcome exist among trauma centers caring for pediatric patients.MethodsFor 16,108 injured children, we created a dependant variable, AsPs (actual survival − predicted survival), which represents variation from TRISS-predicted outcome for each individual. We then used that variable to compare trauma centers’ survival results overall and results for liver, spleen, and head injuries, statistically adjusting for age and injury severity.ResultsWhen adjusted for age and injury severity, centers with added qualifications in pediatrics and Level I centers had improved survival performance overall and in the subcategory of head injured children. No differences existed in other organ-specific injury categories.ConclusionThe improved unexpected outcome results at Level I centers and centers with Added Qualifications in Pediatrics suggest that a team of qualified professionals working in an institution willing to commit the required resources can sufficiently offer injured children the survival advantage expected of a trauma center.

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