BACKGROUND Police transport (PT) of penetrating trauma patients in urban locations has become routine in certain metropolitan areas; however, whether it results in improved outcomes over prehospital Advanced life support (ALS) transport has not been determined in a multicenter study. We hypothesized that PT would not result in improved outcomes. METHODS This was a multicenter, prospective, observational study of adults (18+ years) with penetrating trauma to the torso and/or proximal extremity presenting at 25 urban trauma centers. Police transport and ALS patients were allocated via nearest neighbor, propensity matching. Transport mode also examined by Cox regression. RESULTS Of 1,618 total patients, 294 (18.2%) had PT and 1,324 (81.8%) were by ALS. After matching, 588 (294/cohort) remained. The patients were primarily Black (n = 497, 84.5%), males (n = 525, 89.3%, injured by gunshot wound (n = 494, 84.0%) with 34.5% (n = 203) having Injury Severity Score of 16 or higher. Overall mortality by propensity matching was not different between cohorts (15.6% ALS vs. 15.0% PT, p = 0.82). In severely injured patients (Injury Severity Score ≥16), mortality did not differ between PT and ALS transport (38.8% vs. 36.0%, respectively; p = 0.68). Cox regression analysis controlled for relevant factors revealed no association with a mortality benefit in patients transported by ALS. CONCLUSION Police transport of penetrating trauma patients in urban locations results in similar outcomes compared with ALS. Immediate transport to definitive trauma care should be emphasized in this patient population. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Prognostic and Epidemiologic; Level III.
- Penetrating trauma
- emergency medical services
- police transport
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine