American College of surgeons committee on trauma verification level affects trauma center management of pelvic ring injuries and patient mortality

Bryant W. Oliphant, Christopher J. Tignanelli, Lena M. Napolitano, James A. Goulet, Mark R. Hemmila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Pelvic ring fractures represent a complex injury that requires specific resources and clinical expertise for optimal trauma patient management. We examined the impact of treatment variability for this type of injury at Level I and II trauma centers on patient outcomes.

METHODS: Trauma quality collaborative data (2011-2017) were analyzed. This includes data from 29 American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma verified Level I and Level II trauma centers. Inclusion criteria were adult patients (≥16 years), Injury Severity Score of 5 or higher, blunt injury, and evidence of a partially stable or unstable pelvic ring fracture injury coding as classified using Abbreviated Injury Scale version 2005, with 2008 updates. Patients directly admitted, transferred out for definitive care, with penetrating trauma, or with no signs of life were excluded. Propensity score matching was used to create 1:1 matched cohorts of patients treated at Levels I or II trauma centers. Trauma center verification level was the exposure variable used to compare management strategies, resource utilization, and in-hospital mortality in univariate analysis.

RESULTS: We selected 1,220 well-matched patients, from 1,768 total patients, using propensity score methods (610 Level I and 610 Level II cohort). There were no significant baseline characteristic differences noted between the groups. Patients with pelvic ring fractures treated at Level I trauma centers had significantly decreased mortality (7.7% vs. 11.6%, p = 0.02). Patients treated at Level II trauma centers were less likely to receive interventional angiography, undergo complicated definitive orthopedic operative treatment, and to be admitted to an intensive care unit.

CONCLUSION: Admission with a partially stable or unstable pelvic ring injury to a Level I trauma center is associated with decreased mortality. Level II trauma centers had significantly less utilization of advanced treatment modalities. This variation in clinical practice highlights potential processes to emphasize in the appropriate treatment of these critically ill patients.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Economic/Decision, Level II.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Trauma outcomes
  • collaborative quality improvement
  • complications
  • quality improvement
  • trauma registry

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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