Multiple, simultaneous trauma patients: Are they worse off?

Angela Shoher, David C. Chang, David Efron, Edward E. Cornwell, Elliott R. Haut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The simultaneous management of multiple severely injured patients has the potential to overwhelm trauma center resources. We hypothesize that trauma patients presenting in clusters of two or more patients within a short time period have worse outcomes. METHODS: From the registry at our urban Level I trauma center, we reviewed 4,619 "major" trauma patients admitted during a span of 5.5 years (January 1998 through June 2003). A multidisciplinary team led by an in-house trauma surgery attending evaluated all patients. Pairs of two patients presenting less than 10 minutes apart (PAIRS) and clusters of three patients presenting within 30 minutes (CLUSTERS) were compared with patients arriving alone presenting over 4 hours apart (ALONE) and to other patients that did not meet any of the above criteria (OTHER). Multivariate regression was performed to determine differences in likelihood of direct operating room admissions, hospital, and intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay, and mortality. RESULTS: PAIRS made up 8.9% (413) and CLUSTERS made up 2.7% (126) of patients; 42% (1,939) arrived ALONE; 48.3% (2,229) of patients were classified as OTHER. Multivariate regression showed no significant differences in ICU or hospital length of stay, or mortality for PAIRS or CLUSTERS compared with patients presenting ALONE. PAIR and CLUSTER patients were more likely to undergo immediate surgery than the ALONE group (odds ratio 1.37, 95% confidence interval 1.03-1.83 and 1.61, 95% CI 1.00-2.58, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: When PAIRS or CLUSTERS of seriously injured patients arrive in close time proximity, they are more likely to be directly admitted to the operating room than patients arriving ALONE. This difference in management does not appear to affect patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-615
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Mass casualty
  • Mortality
  • Multiple casualties
  • Outcomes
  • Trauma systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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