2022 Spring GAPNA Newsletter Volume 41 Number 1

Understanding Preventable Deaths in the Geriatric Trauma Population

Patient safety indicators (PSIs) are avoidable complications that can impact outcomes. Older patients have a higher mortality than younger patients with similar injuries.

Understanding the etiology may help reduce mortality. In a new study, researchers aimed to estimate preventable geriatric trauma mortality in the United States and identify PSIs associated with increased preventable mortality.

A retrospective cohort of nearly 3.5 million patients aged 65 years and older was examined. Results indicated odds of preventable mortality increase with age.

Perioperative venous thrombotic events, hemorrhage or hematoma, and postoperative physiologic/metabolic derangements produce significant preventable mortalities. U.S. states differ in their failure-to-prevent and failure-to-rescue PSIs.

Utilization of national guidelines, minimization of central venous catheter use, addressing polypharmacy especially anticoagulation, ensuring operative and procedure-based competencies, and greater incorporation of inpatient geriatricians may reduce preventable mortality in older trauma patients.

To learn more, see Ang et al. (2021). Understanding preventable deaths in the geriatric trauma population: Analysis of 3,452,339 patients from the Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services database.

The American Surgeon. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F00031348211056284