Author(s): Ciesla DJ, Pracht EE, Tepas JJ rd, Cha JY, LanglandOrban B,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Injury remains a public health challenge despite advances in trauma care. Periodic survey of injury epidemiology is essential to the trauma system's continuous performance improvement. We undertook this study to characterize the changes in Florida injury rates during the past 15 years. METHODS: Injured patients were identified with the use of a statewide database over 15 years ending in 2010. Population data were obtained from the U.S. Census. Severe injury was defined by International Classification Injury Severity Scores less than 0.85. Injury rates were expressed in discharges per 100,000 residents. Trends were analyzed by linear regression. RESULTS: The 1.5 million patient discharges consisted of 5.2\% children, 39.7\% adults, and 55.1\% elderly. The overall injury rate decreased in children by 18\% but increased in adults by 2\% and in the elderly by 17\% during the study period. The proportion of severe injuries decreased in children and the elderly but did not change in adults. Injury patterns changed in all age groups. CONCLUSION: Injury in the elderly is increasing at a rate seven times that of adults. In 2010, the elderly accounted for only 17\% of the population but 55\% of injury-related discharges. These trends have dramatic implications for the design of future trauma systems and health care resource use. Copyright © 2013 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Surgery
and referenced in Emergency Medicine: Open Access