The association between hospital arrival time, transport method, prehospital time intervals, and in-hospital mortality in trauma patients presenting to Khayelitsha Hospital, Cape Town
CITATION: Moller, A., et al. 2018. The association between hospital arrival time, transport method, prehospital time intervals, and in-hospital mortality in trauma patients presenting to Khayelitsha Hospital, Cape Town. African Journal of Emergency Medicine, 8(3):89-94, doi:10.1016/j.afjem.2018.01.001.
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Introduction: Trauma is a leading cause of unnatural death and disability in South Africa. The aim of the study was to determine whether method of transport, hospital arrival time or prehospital transport time intervals were associated with in-hospital mortality among trauma patients presenting to Khayelitsha Hospital, a district-level hospital on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. Methods: The Khayelitsha Hospital Emergency Centre database was retrospectively analysed for trauma-related patients presenting to the resuscitation area between 1 November 2014 and 30 April 2015. Missing data and additional variables were collected by means of a chart review. Eligible patients’ folders were scrutinised for hospital arrival time, transport time intervals, transport method and in-hospital mortality. Descriptive statistics were presented for all variables. Categorical data were analysed using the Fisher’s Exact test and Chi-square, continuous data by logistic regression and the Mann Whitney test. A confidence interval of 95% was used to describe variance and a p-value of <0.05 was deemed significant. Results: The majority of patients were 19–44 year old males (n=427, 80.3%) and penetrating trauma the most frequent mechanism of injury (n=343, 64.5%). In total, 258 (48.5%) patients arrived with their own transport, 254 (47.7%) by ambulance and 20 (3.8%) by the police service. The arrival of trauma patients peaked during the weekend, and was especially noticeable between midnight and six a.m. In-hospital mortality (n=18, 3.4%) was not significantly affected by transport method (p=0.26), hospital arrival time (p=0.22) or prehospital transport time intervals (all p-values >0.09). Discussion: Method of transport, hospital arrival time and prehospital transport time intervals did not have a substantially measurable effect on in-hospital mortality. More studies with larger samples are suggested due to the small event rate.