Polytrauma patients nowadays tend to be older due to the growth of the elderly population and its improved mobility. The aim of this study was to compare demographics, injury patterns, injury mechanisms and outcomes between younger and older polytrauma patients.
Data from polytrauma (ISS >= 16) patients between 2009 and 2014 were extracted from the Dutch trauma registry (DTR). Younger (Group A: ages 18-59) and older (Group B: ages >= 60) polytrauma patients were compared. Differences in injury severity, trauma mechanism (only data for the year 2014), vital signs, injury patterns, ICU characteristics and hospital mortality were analyzed.
Data of 25,304 polytrauma patients were analyzed. The older patients represented 47.8% of the polytrauma population. Trauma mechanism in the older patients was more likely to be a bicycle accident (A: 17%; B: 21%) or a low-energy fall (A: 13%; B: 43%). Younger polytrauma patients were more likely to have the worst scores on the Glasgow coma scale (EMV = 3, A: 20%, B: 13%). However, serious head injuries were seen more often in the older patients (A: 53%; B: 69%). The hospital mortality was doubled for the older polytrauma patients (19.8% vs. 9.6%).
Elderly are involved more often in polytrauma. Although injury severity did not differ between groups, the older polytrauma patients were at a higher risk of dying than their younger counterparts despite sustaining less high-energy accidents.
- SEVERITY SCORE