Study profiles rural individuals most likely to have recurrent trauma center admissions

January 15, 2007

About 3.4 percent of patients treated in rural trauma centers appear to be recidivists, meaning that they have visited the facility more than once for separate injuries, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Substance abuse appears to be the common feature among urban and rural recurrent trauma patients.

Trauma is the leading cause of death and disability for individuals age 40 and younger, according to background information in the article. Historically, trauma centers have focused on reducing death and disability following injury; however, it is now recognized that like other diseases, trauma affects certain individuals in high-risk groups. "Correspondingly, the primary prevention of injury has become implicit in the development of integrated trauma systems," the authors write. "The identification of individuals at risk for injury has led to the development of preventative measures to reduce predisposing behavior." Recurrent injury, or trauma recidivism, has been recognized as a behavior that is costly and leads to additional illness in trauma centers.

Eric A. Toschlog, M.D., and colleagues at The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina, Greenville, assessed 15,370 consecutive patients admitted to one rural, university, level I trauma center between 1994 and 2002. A national trauma registry was used to identify patients who were admitted for distinct injuries two, three, four and five times during the study period. Demographic and clinical information, including blood alcohol levels and toxicology results, were obtained from the same database.

A total of 528 patients (3.4 percent) were admitted to the trauma center a second time for a different injury; the total cost for these admissions was more than $7 million. Compared with patients admitted only once, patients with recurrent admissions for trauma (recidivists): The rate of recurrent injury was lower than that in urban trauma centers (which range from 6.4 percent to 52 percent), and many of these characteristics differ from those found in studies of trauma recidivists in urban populations, who tend to be young, male and injured by violent means, the authors write. "The common feature seems to be substance abuse," they conclude. "Correspondingly, prevention strategies for recidivism must be considerably different among rural and urban populations."
(Arch Surg. 2007;142:77-81. Available pre-embargo to the media at

Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

The JAMA Network Journals

Related Substance Abuse Articles from Brightsurf:

College students with disabilities at greater risk for substance abuse
College students with physical and cognitive disabilities use illicit drugs more, and have a higher prevalence of drug use disorder, than their non-disabled peers, according to a Rutgers study.

An AI algorithm to help identify homeless youth at risk of substance abuse
While many programs and initiatives have been implemented to address the prevalence of substance abuse among homeless youth in the United States, they don't always include data-driven insights about environmental and psychological factors that could contribute to an individual's likelihood of developing a substance use disorder.

How Tweets may influence substance abuse in youth
In a new study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing), researchers characterized the content of 23 million drug-related tweets by youths to identify their beliefs and behaviors related to drug use and better understand the potential mechanisms driving substance use behavior.

Time in host country -- a risk factor for substance abuse in migrants
Refugees and other migrants who move to Sweden are initially less likely to be diagnosed with alcohol or drug addiction than the native population but over time their rates of substance abuse begin to mirror that of the Swedish born population.

Children of incarcerated parents have more substance abuse, anxiety
Children of incarcerated parents are six times more likely to develop a substance use disorder in adulthood and nearly twice as likely to have diagnosable anxiety compared to children whose parents were not incarcerated, according to new research from the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University.

Reducing care needs of teens with substance-abuse disorders
Screenings, interventions, and referrals can help adolescent teens overcome substance abuse in the short-term.

Pain and substance abuse interact in a vicious cycle
Pain and substance use interact in a vicious cycle that can ultimately worsen and maintain both chronic pain and addiction, according to a research team including faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Gap in substance abuse data could have long-term implications, study finds
A policy of redacting Medicare claims that included diagnosis or procedure codes related to substance abuse was in effect from 2013-2017, just as the Affordable Care Act and the opioid epidemic were drastically changing the healthcare landscape.

AI tool promotes positive peer groups to tackle substance abuse
When it comes to fighting substance abuse, research suggests the company you keep can make the difference between recovery and relapse.

Investigators highlight potential of exercise in addressing substance abuse in teens
Exercise has numerous, well-documented health benefits. Could it also play a role in preventing and reducing substance misuse and abuse in adolescents?

Read More: Substance Abuse News and Substance Abuse Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to