When fully operational, trauma systems provide a level of care that includes public access through calls to 911, emergency medical services, and timely transport to a hospital or a trauma center dedicated to the care of the injured. In collaboration with the American Trauma Society, the Center developed an inventory of trauma centers in the U.S., and found that although the number of trauma centers has more than doubled since 1991, their availability and configuration vary from state to state.
To better understand the impact of these variations in trauma care on patient outcomes, the Center is collaborating with the University of Washington on the National Study on the Costs and Outcomes of Trauma Care (NSCOT). Findings have demonstrated the lifesaving benefits of trauma care compared to non-trauma care for the severely injured. Alarmingly, however, this research also found that elderly trauma patients are significantly less likely than their younger counterparts to get to a trauma center when they are severely injured.
The Injury Center is also working with the Military in a project termed METRC, the Major Extremity Trauma Research Consortium. METRC consists of a network of clinical centers and one data-coordinating center (housed in the Injury Center) that will work together with the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) to conduct multi-center clinical research relevant to the treatment and outcomes of orthopaedic trauma sustained in the military. The overall goal of the Consortium is to produce the evidence needed to establish treatment guidelines for the optimal care of the wounded warrior and ultimately improve the clinical, functional and quality of life outcomes of both service members and civilians who sustain high energy trauma to the extremities. More information can be found at www.metrc.org.
Injuries often result in poor functional outcomes even when optimal acute trauma care and medical rehabilitation are provided. Self-management interventions have been developed by Center researchers to improve these outcomes. In partnership with the American Trauma Society, a Trauma Survivors Network is being implemented and evaluated to address the needs of patients and their families.