Success Of An Expedited Emergency Department Triage Evaluation System For Geriatric Trauma Patients Not Meeting Trauma Activation Criteria

Document Type


Publication Date



Background: Geriatric patients are at increased risk of injury following low-energy mechanisms and are less tolerant of injury. Current criteria for trauma team activation (TTA) often miss these injuries. We evaluated a novel triage process for an expedited Emergency Medicine Physician evaluation protocol (T3) for at-risk geriatric sub-populations not meeting trauma team activation (TTA) criteria. Methods: Retrospective review of injured patients (≥65 years) from a Level II Trauma Center with an Injury Severity Score (ISS < 16), prior to (Pre-T3, Jan 2007-Oct 2009), and after (Post-T3, Jan 2010-Oct 2012), implementation of T3, as well as a contemporary period (CP, Jan 2013-Oct 2015). Demographics, physiologic variables, and timeliness of care were measured. Rates of ICU admission, operative procedures and lengths of stay and in-hospital mortality were compared for all periods. Logistic regression analysis determined variables independently associated with mortality.Results: Post-T3, 49.2% of geriatric registry patients underwent T3 with a reduction in key time intervals. Median time to evaluation (42.1 mins vs 61.7 min, p<0.001), median time to CT (161.3 mins vs 212.9 mins, p<0.001) and EDLOS (364.6 mins vs 451.5 mins, p=0.023) were all reduced compared to non-expedited evaluations. There was no change in mortality after the implementation of the protocol. Conclusion: The T3 protocol expedited patient evaluation of at-risk geriatric patients that would not otherwise meet TTA criteria. The new process met the goals of the American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Improvement Program while conserving resources.