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Three of the articles in this month's issue deal with areas of trauma care that deserve consideration. In light of the fact that nearly 50% of patients admitted to trauma centers are intoxicated, alcohol problems are an important area of concern. Thus, the first of these articles, "Intoxicated Motor Vehicle Passengers: An Overlooked At-Risk Population" by Schermer et al, informs us that intoxicated passengers injured in motor vehicle crashes are similar to intoxicated drivers in recurrent hospitalizations and emergency department visits, and have a higher than expected mortality rate in the 5 years following their initial injury.
In a second article, "Effects of 2 Patterns of Prehospital Care on the Outcome of Patients With Severe Head Injury," the authors point out that there was no increased benefit of the combined helicopter-physician–advanced life support system over a simpler plan of basic life support, nurse staffing, and ground transport in this grouping. Specific categories of trauma patients may require different types of prehospital care. Careful consideration must be given to verifying each modality of trauma care.
This Month in Archives of Surgery. Arch Surg. 2001;136(11):1229. doi:10.1001/archsurg.136.11.1229
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