This month CanadiEM is featuring an article from the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine (CJEM) that focuses on the mode of transport for trauma patients. This is primarily a choice between ground and air transport, for which there are no evidence-based guidelines.
As shown in this CanadiEM infographic, this study by Buchanan et al.1 set out to determine if the use of ground or air transport improved trauma patient outcomes. A historical, observational cohort study was performed at the Hamilton General Hospital, using data from 1995-2013. The predicted survival of air and ground transported trauma patients were then calculated using a TRISS-L analysis, and subsequently compared to actual survival data. Using this methodology, air transported patients were found to outperform their predicted mortality, while ground transported patients underperformed their predicted mortality. Overall, this study suggests that air transport of trauma patients is associated with a mortality benefit. However, it is unclear what factors are responsible for the difference between transport modalities.
The infographic can be downloaded as a PDF here.