Trauma ICUs associated with lower complication rates and death, study finds

When trauma patients are admitted to a dedicated trauma intensive care unit instead of a mixed ICU, they experience lower complication rates and death after complication, according to a study in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery.

Researchers performed a retrospective review of ICUs in two Level I trauma centers covered by one group of surgical intensivists — one of the centers had a dedicated TICU, while the other had a mixed ICU. They reviewed 3,833 patients, and they stratified them for demographics and clinical characteristics.

They found that trauma patients admitted to a TICU had significantly lower chance of developing a postinjury complication and overall mortality.

"Factors such as trauma nursing experience, education and unit management structure should be further explored to elucidate the observed improved outcomes," the study concludes.

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