Trauma patients with vascular injuries have historically been within a general surgeon's operative ability. Changes in training and decline in operative trauma have decreased trainees' exposure to these injuries. We sought to determine how frequently vascular procedures are performed at US trauma centers to quantify the need for general surgeons trained to manage vascular injuries.We conducted a retrospective analysis of the National Trauma Data Base (NTDB) from 2012 compared with 2002. Patients with general surgical and vascular procedures were identified using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, procedure codes 38.0-39.99, excluding 38.9-38.99.General surgery or vascular operations were performed on 12,099 (24%) of 50,248 severely injured adult patients in 2002 and 21,854 (16%) of 138,009 injured patients in 2012. Nineteen percent to 26% of all patients underwent vascular procedures. Patients with combined general surgery and vascular procedures were less likely to be discharged home and more likely to die. In 2002, 6% of severely injured adult trauma patients underwent open vascular procedures at level III/IV trauma centers; by 2012, only 1% of vascular surgery procedures were performed at level III/IV centers (P < 0.001).Need for emergent vascular surgery remains common for severely injured patients. Future trauma systems and surgical training programs will need to account for the need for open vascular skills. The findings suggest that there is already a trend away from open vascular procedures at level III/IV trauma centers, which may be a sign of system compensation for changes in the workforce.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jss.2016.06.032
View details for PubMedID 27621021