Changing from a two-tiered to a one-tiered trauma team activation protocol: a before–after observational cohort study investigating the clinical impact of undertriage
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionEuropean Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery. 2021. 10.1007/s00068-021-01696-y
Background: The aim of this study was to compare the effect of the change in TTA protocol from a two-tier to one-tier, with focus on undertriage and mortality. Material and methods: A before–after observational cohort study based on data extracted from the Stavanger University Hospital Trauma registry in the transition period from two-tier to a one-tier TTA protocol over two consecutive 1-year periods (2017–2018). Comparative analysis was done between the two time-periods for descriptive characteristics and outcomes. The main outcomes of interest were undertriage and mortality. Results: During the study period 1234 patients were included in the registry, of which 721 (58%) were in the two-tier and 513 (42%) in the one-tier group. About one in five patients (224/1234) were severely injured (ISS > 15). Median age was 39 in the two-tier period and 43 years in the one-tier period (p = 0.229). Median ISS was 5 for the two-tier period vs 9, in the one-tier period (p = 0.001). The undertriage of severely injured patients in the two-tier period was 18/122 (15%), compared to 31/102 (30%) of patients in the one-tier period (OR = 2.5; 95% CI 1.8–4.52). Overall mortality increased significantly between the two TTA protocols, from 2.5 to 4.7% (p = 0.033), OR 0.51 (0.28–0.96) Conclusion: A protocol change from two-tiered TTA to one-tiered TTA increased the undertriage in our trauma system. A two-tiered TTA may be beneficial for better patient care.