Trauma center death rates linked to patient population - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Trauma center death rates linked to patient population

Updated:
© iStockphoto.com / Nancy Louie © iStockphoto.com / Nancy Louie

FRIDAY, Sept. 13 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. trauma centers that serve mostly white patients have low death rates for people of all races, while the majority of trauma centers that serve mostly minority populations have higher-than-expected death rates, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data from 181 U.S. trauma centers and categorized them as having low, average or high death rates. The numbers in each category were 86 centers, six centers and 89 centers, respectively. Twenty-seven of the trauma centers (15 percent) serve a patient population that is more than 50 percent minority, while most patients at 154 centers are white.

Of the centers with predominately minority patients, 81.5 percent had higher-than-expected death rates. Sixty-four percent of the black patients in the study were treated at centers with high death rates, compared with 41 percent of white patients, the Johns Hopkins researchers found.

The analysis also revealed that 45 percent of patients at centers with high death rates don't have insurance, compared to 21 percent of patients at centers with low death rates, according to the study in the October issue of the journal Annals of Surgery.

Trauma patients were 40 percent less likely to die -- regardless of their race or the extent of their injuries -- if they were treated at hospitals with low death rates (which serve predominantly white patients), the investigators found.

Along with supporting previous research showing that a patient's race and insurance status make a difference in their chances of survival after suffering life-threatening injuries, the study shows that hospitals are also an important factor, according to the researchers.

"It's not just differences in the patients," Dr. Adil Haider, an associate professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in a Hopkins news release.

"All patients of all races do better at the trauma centers treating white majority populations, so this research tells us we need to direct attention to hospitals with higher mortality rates to help them improve their outcomes, or we won't ever be able to turn this around," noted Haider, who is also director of the Center for Surgery Trials and Outcomes Research at Johns Hopkins.

He said that hospitals serving mainly white people may have more money because they have a higher percentage of well-insured patients and receive more donations. This means they can afford staff training and other measures to continually improve care.

"We need to find a way to help poorly performing trauma centers improve. In most cases, these centers are doing a very difficult job without enough resources. And if we try, we can certainly help these centers achieve better outcomes. It can't continue to be the case that the color of a patient's skin determines whether he or she survives a serious injury," Haider said.

More information

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has more about traumatic injuries.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
  • More From wfmj.comMore>>

  • Lightning kills boy swimming in Pennsylvania creek

    Lightning kills boy swimming in Pennsylvania creek

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:09 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:09:34 GMT
    Authorities say a lightning strike has killed a boy who was swimming in a central Pennsylvania creek.More >>
    Authorities say a lightning strike has killed a boy who was swimming in a central Pennsylvania creek.More >>
  • Ohio police: Wedding guest tries to steal gifts

    Ohio police: Wedding guest tries to steal gifts

    DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Police in Dayton say a wedding guest tried to make off with checks and cash for the newlyweds. Officers were called to the wedding reception late Saturday night after workers noticed that a safe had been emptied out. Police say about $6,800 was found in unopened wedding cards inside a tuxedo garment bag belonging to one of the guests. A police report says surveillance video showed a man entering the office and later walking out with the garment bag. The man told police he...More >>
    DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Police in Dayton say a wedding guest tried to make off with checks and cash for the newlyweds. Officers were called to the wedding reception late Saturday night after workers noticed that a safe had been emptied out. Police say about $6,800 was found in unopened wedding cards inside a tuxedo garment bag belonging to one of the guests. A police report says surveillance video showed a man entering the office and later walking out with the garment bag. The man told police he...More >>
  • Flying club remembers 4 killed in Ohio plane crash

    Flying club remembers 4 killed in Ohio plane crash

    CLEVELAND (AP) - Members of a flying club held a candlelight vigil to remember four Ohio college students killed a week ago when a small plane crashed just after taking off near Cleveland. Friends and family members were among the 80 people who gathered Sunday night near the crash site in Willoughby Hills. Federal officials say the pilot of the plane reported he was having trouble climbing just after takeoff and was trying to return to the airport. All four people aboard the plane were stude...More >>
    CLEVELAND (AP) - Members of a flying club held a candlelight vigil to remember four Ohio college students killed a week ago when a small plane crashed just after taking off near Cleveland. Friends and family members were among the 80 people who gathered Sunday night near the crash site in Willoughby Hills. Federal officials say the pilot of the plane reported he was having trouble climbing just after takeoff and was trying to return to the airport. All four people aboard the plane were stude...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms