Relationship of age, injury severity, injury type, comorbid conditions, level of care, and survival among older motor vehicle trauma patients


  • Linda J. Scheetz

    Corresponding author
    1. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, NJ
    • College of Nursing, Ackerson Hall, 180 University Avenue, Newark, NJ 07102.
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    • Assistant Professor.

  • The author thank Joanne Stevenson, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor Emeritus, and Elise Lev, EdD, RN, CS, Associate Professor, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, for their manuscript critiques; and John E. Kolassa, PhD, Professor of Statistics and Director of Office of Statistical Consulting, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, for his assistance with the data analyses.


The purpose of this secondary data analysis was to compare age, injury severity, injury types, selected comorbidities, level of care (at trauma center [TC] and non–trauma center [NTC] hospitals), and survival among older motor vehicle trauma patients (N = 1,478). Patients admitted to both levels of care had similar comorbid conditions. TC patients had a higher injury severity, whereas NTC patients had a greater proportion of soft tissue injuries. Results of logistic regression analyses subsequent to group comparisons revealed that higher injury severity was associated with TC admission. The likelihood of TC admission of severely injured patients decreased in the presence of spinal, internal, and head injuries. Internal injuries, liver, renal, and cardiovascular diseases were associated with non-survival while hypertension was associated with survival. Special attention is needed when triaging older trauma patients because their injuries may be covert, thus putting them at risk for admission to a level of care that may be inappropriate given the extent of their injuries. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 28: 198–209, 2005