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Invited Critique
August 18, 2008

Undertriage of Elderly Trauma Patients to State-Designated Trauma Centers—Invited Critique

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2008 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2008

Arch Surg. 2008;143(8):782. doi:10.1001/archsurg.143.8.782

Statewide trauma systems require 3 components: trauma centers (TCs), committed trauma care providers, and rational, effective triage mechanisms. Chang and coinvestigators observed that only 50% of elderly patients who met triage criteria were transported to 1 of Maryland's 8 TCs. One cause for this was a potential age bias among EMS providers. The authors dismissed 3 pertinent issues:

Trauma surgeons must advocate for the inclusion of seriously injured elderly patients in statewide trauma systems but should also recognize that optimal care may be determined by elderly patients' unique priorities and preferences.

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