Does the Presence of an Upper Extremity Injury Affect Outcomes after Major Trauma?
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BACKGROUND: There is a paucity of information about the impact of upper extremity (UE) injuries on patient outcomes, particularly after major trauma. METHODS: Data were obtained from a statewide trauma registry. Cases were defined as major trauma cases (Injury Severity Score > 15) with (UE group) and without (no-UE group) an associated upper extremity injury. Multivariate analysis was performed to identify independent predictors of outcome. RESULTS: Major trauma patients with UE injury were 1.5 times (p = 0.011) more likely than the no-UE group to have a length of stay greater than 7 days. After adjusting for age, mechanism of injury, and Injury Severity Score, UE injury was not an independent predictor of discharge destination. CONCLUSION: In major trauma patients, the presence of an upper extremity injury is a significant predictor of length of stay, indicating a greater complexity and cost of care associated with this group of major trauma patients.
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