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HOME > J Trauma Inj > Volume 29(1); 2016 > Article
Effect on Trauma Patients of Having Even One General Trauma Surgeon on Duty
Jang Whan Jo, Jun Min Cho, Nam Ryeol Kim
Journal of Trauma and Injury 2016;29(1):8-13
Published online: March 31, 2016
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Department of Trauma Surgery, Korea University Guro Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Received: 10 December 2015   • Revised: 22 December 2015   • Accepted: 28 December 2015

Specialized general trauma surgeons play an important role in the care of trauma patients. Hemoperitoneum is a severe, but representative, condition following a life-threatened trauma. The objective of this study was to compare the outcomes for polytrauma patients with hemoperitoneum between the periods during which a trauma surgeon was available and that unavailable.
Thirty-one trauma patients with hemoperitoneum who were treated at Korea University Guro Hospital over a period of 4 years were included in this study, and their case records were analyzed retrospectively. The patients were divided into two groups, the 2011 and 2012 group and the 2013 and 2014 group corresponding, respectively, to the periods that a trauma surgeon was not and was working. Vital signs on admission, scores on the injury severity scale and, Glasgow coma scale, elapsed time to diagnostic, and therapeutic, and/or operative interventions were studied. The effects on intensive care unit and hospital lengths of stay, as well as mortality, were also studied.
The study population consisted of 16 and 15 patients in group 1 and 2, respectively. The patients in both groups had six unstable hemodynamic on admission. The time to the main procedure (intervention, operation etc.) was longer during the periods when a trauma surgeon was not working than it was during the period when working. This difference did not reached statistical significance. The mortality rates for the two groups were not statistically different either (18.75% vs 26.67%; p=0.928).
Having at least one specialized general trauma surgeon on duty may reduce the time to intervention and surgery for severe trauma patients with hemoperitoneum, but appears to have no effect on the mortality rates. In conclusion, having only one trauma surgeon on duty does not improve the quality of care for trauma patients.

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