Trauma patients are at higher risk of death after being discharged from hospital, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has revealed.
Researchers discovered that trauma patients had a 16% mortality rate within three years, compared to a 6% expected population death rate. They also found that trauma patients who were discharged to a skilled nursing facility had were at a significantly higher risk of death compared to those who were discharged home without assistance.
The study revealed that the patient deaths following hospital discharge (21,045) were almost three times higher when compared to the deaths during hospital stay (7,243).
The study was conducted to examine the long-term mortality of trauma patients in the state of Washington, US, including 124,421 injured adult patients, from January 1995 to December 2008.
During the 14-year study, hospitalisation deaths dropped from 8% in 1995 to 4.9% in 2008, while deaths in the years following hospital discharge increased from 4.7% to 7.4%.