Preventable trauma deaths: Dade county, Florida

David J. Kreis, Gustavo Plasencia, Debbie Augenstein, Joseph H. Davis, Miguel Echenique, James Vopal, Patricia Byers, Gerardo Gomez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


We reviewed 1,201 trauma deaths that occurred in Dade County, Florida, in 1982 in order to evaluate the need for an organized trauma network. There were 715 deaths (59.5%) at the scene. Of the remaining 486 patients who were transported to hospitals for treatment there were 240 central nervous system (CNS) deaths and 246 non-CNS deaths. Fifty-two (21.1%) preventable non-CNS trauma deaths were identified out of the 246 non-CNS deaths. The lack of an appropriate surgical procedure or a delay to surgery accounted for 82.7% of the preventable deaths. The preventable non-CNS death rate was 12.1% at the then functional Level I hospital and 26.4% at the other 22 hospitals (p < 0.01). The ISS scores were similar for both the functional Level I hospital and the other hospitals. A trauma network involving seven hospitals is currently being established in Dade County, Florida. Applying the 1982 data to these hospitals reveals a preventable non-CNS death rate of 12.1% for the Level I hospital, 21.5% for the six planned Level II hospitals, and 30.0% for the other 16 hospitals. We conclude that: 1) the severely injured should be triaged directly to trauma centers, and 2) there is a need in Dade County, Florida, for an organized trauma system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-654
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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