A Contemporary Analysis of the Effect of Trauma Center Verification Level on Mortality in Severe Injury.


Far West


Riverside Community Hospital

Document Type


Publication Date



wounds and injuries, ACS verification, severely injured, trauma center verification, trauma mortality


Emergency Medicine | Surgery | Trauma


BACKGROUND: Literature demonstrates increased mortality for the severely injured at a Level II vs. Level I center. Our objective is to reevaluate the impact of trauma center verification level on mortality for patients with an Injury Severity Score (ISS) > 15 utilizing more contemporary data. We hypothesize that there would be no mortality discrepancy.

STUDY DESIGN: Utilizing the ACS Trauma Quality Program Participant Use File admission year 2017, we identified severely injured (ISS >15) adult (age >15 years) patients treated at an ACS-verified Level I or Level II center. We excluded patients who underwent interfacility transfer. Logistic regression was performed to determine adjusted associations with mortality.

RESULTS: There were 63 518 patients included, where 43 680 (68.8%) were treated at a Level I center and 19 838 (31.2%) at a Level II. Male gender (70.1%) and blunt injuries (92.0%) predominated. Level I admissions had a higher mean ISS [23.8 (±8.5) vs. 22.9 (±7.8),

CONCLUSIONS: Despite previous findings, mortality outcomes are similar for severely injured patients treated at a Level I vs. Level II center. We theorize that this relates to mandated Level II resourcing as defined by an updated American College of Surgeons verification process.

Publisher or Conference

The American Surgeon