Sex-Based Disparities in Timeliness of Trauma Care and Discharge Disposition

Martha Conley E. Ingram*, Monica Nagalla, Ying Shan, Brian J. Nasca, Arielle C. Thomas, Susheel Reddy, Karl Y. Bilimoria, Anne Stey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Importance: Differences in time to diagnostic and therapeutic measures can contribute to disparities in outcomes. However, whether there is an association of timeliness by sex for trauma patients is unknown. Objective: To investigate whether sex-based differences in time to definitive interventions exist for trauma patients in the US and whether these differences are associated with outcomes. Design, Setting, and Participants: This was a retrospective cohort study conducted from July 2020 to July 2021, using the 2013 to 2016 Trauma Quality Improvement Program (TQIP) databases from level I to III trauma centers in the US. Patients 18 years or older with an Injury Severity Score (ISS) greater than 15 and who carried diagnoses of traumatic brain injury, intra-abdominal injury, pelvic fracture, femur fracture, and spinal injury as a result of their trauma were included in the study. Data were analyzed from July 2020 to July 2021. Main Outcomes and Measures: Primary outcomes assessed timeliness to interventions, using Wilcoxon signed rank and χ2 tests. Secondary outcomes included location of discharge after injury, using propensity score-matched generalized estimating equations modeling. Results: Of the 28332 patients included, 20002 (70.6%) were male patients (mean [SD] age, 43.3 [18.2] years) and 8330 (29.4%) were female patients (mean [SD] age, 48.5 [21.1] years), with significantly different distributions of ISS scores (ISS score 16-24: male patient, 10622 [53.1%]; female patient, 4684 [56.2%]; ISS score 41-74: male patient, 2052 [10.3%]; female patient, 852 [10.2%]). Male patients more frequently had abdominal (4257 [21.3%] vs 1268 [15.2%]) and spinal cord (3989 [20.0%] vs 1274 [15.3%]) injuries, whereas female patients experienced greater proportions of femur (3670 [44.0%] vs 8422 [42.1%]) and pelvic (3970 [47.6%] vs 6963 [34.8%]) fractures. Female patients experienced significantly longer emergency department length of stay (median [IQR], 184 [92-314] minutes vs 172 [86-289] minutes; P <.001), longer time in pretriage (median [IQR], 52 [36-80] minutes vs 49 [34-77] minutes; P <.001), and increased likelihood of discharge to nursing or long-term care facilities instead of home after matching by age, ISS, mechanism, and injury type (male patient:female patient, odds ratio, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.67-0.78). Conclusions and Relevance: Results of this cohort study suggest that female trauma patients experienced slightly longer delays in trauma care and had a higher likelihood of discharge to long-term care facilities than their male counterparts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-616
Number of pages8
JournalJAMA surgery
Volume157
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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