The Effect of Trauma Center Verification Level on Outcomes in Traumatic Brain Injury Patients Undergoing Interfacility Transfer.


Far West


Riverside Community Hospital

Document Type


Publication Date



traumatic brain injury, trauma centers, wounds and injuries


Emergency Medicine | Nervous System Diseases | Surgery | Trauma


BACKGROUND: Previous literature demonstrates increased mortality for traumatic brain injury (TBI) with transfer to a Level II versus Level I trauma center. Our objective was to determine the effect of the most recent American College of Surgeons-Committee on Trauma (ACS-COT) "Resources for the Optimal Care of the Injured Patient" resources manual ("The Orange Book") on outcomes after severe TBI after interfacility transfer to Level I versus Level II center.

METHODS: Utilizing the Trauma Quality Program Participant Use File of the American College of Surgeons admission year 2017, we identified patients with isolated TBI undergoing interfacility transfer to either Level I or Level II trauma center. Logistic regression was performed to determine independent associations with mortality.

RESULTS: There were 10,268 (71.6%) transferred to a Level I center and 4,025 (28.4%) were transferred to a Level II center. They were mostly male (61.4%) with a mean ± SD age of 61 ± 20.8 years. Mean Injury Severity Score was 16.3 ± 6.3 and most were injured in a single-level fall (51.5%). Patients transferred to a Level I center were less likely to be White (82.3% vs. 84.7%, 0.002) and more likely to have sustained penetrating trauma (2.7% vs. 1.6%,

CONCLUSIONS: There is no mortality discrepancy in patients with isolated TBI transferred to a Level II versus Level I center despite previous contrary evidence and thus no reason to bypass a Level II in favor of a Level I. This relative improvement potentially relates to the new requirements as defined in the latest version of the ACS-COT's resources manual.

Publisher or Conference

Academic Emergency Medicine