Interhospital transfer of liver trauma in New Mexico: A state of austere resources

Nova Szoka, Cristina Murray-Krezan, Richard Miskimins, Alissa Greenbaum, David Tobey, Syed Faizi, Sonlee West, Stephen Lu, Thomas Howdieshell, Gerald Demarest, Itzhak Nir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background There is debate in the trauma literature regarding the effect of prolonged prehospital transport on morbidity and mortality. This study analyzes the management of hepatic trauma patients requiring surgery and compares the outcomes of the group that was transferred to the University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH) from outside institutions, to the directly admitted group. Materials and methods The UNMH Trauma Database was queried from 2005-2012. Of 674 patients who sustained liver injuries, 163 required surgery: 46 patients (28.2%) underwent interhospital transfer, and 117 (71.8%) were directly admitted. Variables examined included transfer status, trauma mechanism, transport type, injury severity score (ISS), liver injury grade, and associated injuries. Outcome variables included length of stay (LOS) and 30-day mortality. Outcomes of the transfer group (TG) and direct admit group (DAG) were compared. Results Both TG and DAG had the same median age (31 y, P = 0.33). The blunt-to-penetrating ratio was the same for each group (48% blunt: 52% penetrating, P = 1.0). Median ISS was 25 for the TG and 26 for the DAG. Grade III or higher injury occurred in 29 (63%) of the TG and in 68 (58%) of the DAG (P = 0.56). Median hospital LOS was 14 d for TG and 9 d for DAG (P = 0.15). Median intensive care unit LOS was 4 d for both groups (P = 0.71). Thirty-day mortality was 20% in each group (P = 0.27). Using a multiple logistic regression model for the outcome of mortality, only age, ISS, and liver injury grade, not transfer status or transport type, had a significant effect on mortality. Conclusions There was no significant difference in liver injury grade, ISS, LOS, and mortality between TG and DAG. In the patient population of our study, transfer status did not affect outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Hepatic trauma
  • Hepatobiliary surgeon
  • Liver injury
  • Mortality
  • Transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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