1. Senn-Reeves, Julia N. MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, CCNS
  2. Jenkins, Donald H. MD


Objective: To determine whether preinjury health and injury-related factors were associated with posthospitalization discharge location and injury-associated complications for patients with blunt thoracic trauma.


Methods: A retrospective analysis using registry data from a level 1 trauma center was conducted. A random sample of 200 patients admitted between 2009 and 2012 was included. Relationships between variables were assessed through cross-tabulation with the chi-square analysis; a P value <.05 was considered statistically significant.


Results: Alcohol/drug use was related to hospital discharge location. Most patients with alcohol involved injuries discharged to locations other than home or long-term care facilities. Of the 59 patients who required intensive care, their length of stay was less than 3 days, and 24 required mechanical ventilation for short periods. Most blunt thoracic trauma patients were hospitalized less than 7 days. A relationship was identified between discharge location and the presence of any of the National Trauma Databank comorbid conditions and the comorbid condition of bleeding. A relationship between rib fractures and injury-associated complications was not found. The complication of pneumonia was related to length of stay and primary payment method.


Conclusion: Comorbid medical conditions and injury-related factors were associated with injury-related complications and discharge location for select variables. Further exploration with is needed to elucidate the associations more fully.