Predictors of mortality in trauma patients

Jana B.A. Macleod, Maurico Lynn, Mark G. Mckenney, Igor Jeroukhimov, Stephen M. Cohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to ascertain risk factors for death from trauma. The large cohort allows for simultaneous evaluation of known mortality risk factors along with controlling for factors to assess the influence of each independently. Individually, base deficit, temperature, hypotension, age, and injury severity have been shown to be associated with an increased risk of death. However, in the English literature, there is no data on the independent predictive power and interaction of these risk factors. A review of trauma registry parameters from 1995 to 2000 was used. Demographics, injury severity, physiological and hematological parameters, and time data were evaluated in a univariate analysis. Variables significantly associated with mortality were entered into a stepwise backward multiple logistic regression. There were 1276 deaths (8.9%) with 25 per cent of the deaths within 3 hours. The top four predictors of mortality in this group were partial thromboplastin time (OR 3.37, 95% CI: 2.51-4.52), positive head computed tomography result (OR, 2.47; 95% CI, 1.95-3.04), initial hemoglobin (OR, 1.69; 95% CI, 1.23-2.31), base deficit (OR, 1.62; 95% CI, 1.29-2.04), and trauma resuscitation bay systolic blood pressure (OR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.11-1.88). We conclude that prognostic indicators of all-cause mortality after trauma, which remain independent in the presence of all other factors and are potentially treatable, included low hemoglobin, elevated prothrombin and partial thromboplastin time, low scene and trauma bay systolic pressure, and elevated base deficit. The independent indicators of mortality, which are untreatable, included head injury, increasing age, and Injury Severity Score.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)805-810
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


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