Archive for Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mortality rates down at KU trauma, burn centers

May 19, 2013


— Mortality rates at the Kansas University Hospital trauma and burn units are among the lowest in the country, according to figures released this week.

The Burnett Burn Center's mortality index is 0.58, indicating that 42 percent of patients who arrived with a great risk of death are surviving.

The KU Trauma Center, meanwhile, has a mortality index of 0.72. "That means that if we treated 100 patients who would likely die, 28 out of those 100 would live who might not do so in another center," explained its director, Michael Moncure.

"You've got a better chance of surviving at KU than you do at other institutions across the country," he added.

Moncure and Richard Kortentager, medical director of the Burnett Burn Center, reported the improved patient outcomes to the KU Hospital Authority Board at its bimonthly meeting Tuesday, noting that the programs are the only ones of their kind in the Kansas City region with national accreditation. They are assessed by the American College of Surgeons, with Burnett additionally being evaluated by the American Burn Association.

The units have to meet strict guidelines to earn the designations. Only 107 out of the 1,395 trauma centers nationwide are nationally accredited.

"We're put to a very stringent set of criteria," Kortentager said. He added that the marks also come with increased expectations.

The trauma program treats patients involved in such incidents as traffic accidents, violent crimes or mass-casualty emergencies, while the burn unit takes care of people burned by fire, electricity, chemicals or extreme cold. They see residents mostly of Kansas and Missouri but also some surrounding states.

The facilities have undergone improvements in other areas. Since 2010, the KU Trauma Center has cut in half its first-24-hour death rate from shock. Bed days and length of stays in intensive care are also down in that time.

Officials credited the improvements to teamwork between the trauma, burn and critical care units, and a mission of providing advanced, immediate care 24/7. Moncure cited the recent gas explosion at JJ's Restaurant in Kansas City, Mo., in which hospital employees brought a victim directly from the emergency bay to a trauma room and began treating him right away.

"If we wouldn't have pushed that, he would have died," Moncure asserted. "When you do the right thing, and do it aggressively and do it up front, you see the results on the downstream."


appleaday 5 years, 1 month ago

The KU Trauma Center, meanwhile, has a morality index of 0.72.

Is that good or bad?

Lisa Medsker 5 years, 1 month ago

A Level I Trauma Center is not the place people go when they have the flu or a splinter. They need a chest cracked, brains put back in their heads, blood transfusions, cardiac drugs, or IMMEDIATE surgery, if they are going to live. Since the only person who can actually pronounce a person "dead", or authorize the ending of resuscitation is a physician, the people with leaking brains and important body parts not quite attached end up in the Emergency Department, where many go just for the sole purpose of being "pronounced", and some of your, "Holy cow, no WAY that one is going to live" cases end up doing just that, because of Level I care. This does increase the mortality index for those EDs. It would stand to reason that LMH, Providence, or any of the other smaller hospitals, without a Neurosurgeon on site 24/7, wouldn't get the more terminal emergencies, thus decreasing their mortality index.

Hope that made sense. (No coffee, yet!)

Pamela Vandervoort 5 years, 1 month ago

KU Trauma Unit & Burnett Burn Center saved my daughter's life in Aug 2007. She was in a roll over accident on a gravel rural road; pinned under the still running car's exhaust system for at least 45 min before she was found &911 was called. She was unresponsive when lifestar took off with her about 45 min later. The lifestar ride was about 25 min before she arrived at KU. She immediately went into surgery. She was in ICU 16 days, had 15 surgeries some skin graft surgeries were combined with 3 orthopedic surgeries. (she had 3rd degree burns from hips down. She lost her right leg below knee & left foot & ankle reconstructed.) She was in the burn unit 8 wks. Nobody thought she'd live that night or for the first few days. Dr Korentager, the entire burn unit staff, Dr. Headings, Dr. Ritter, Dr. Tilley, Dr. Moncure, several other trauma doctors, & all the KU staff saved her life. They are amazing people!!! Very few people could do what they do &do it so well!! I believed that night if my daughter made it to KU Med alive, they would save her life. Anytime you hear someone is being transported to KU Med, you know they are in critical condition. The above commenter is absolutely right when paramedics arrive to find someone barely holding on, they send them to KU. God bless KU med. We are extremely fortunate to have such an excellent burn & trauma center in our area & in KS. .

appleaday 5 years, 1 month ago

Oh, I'm completely with both of you about the KU trauma center. I was just making fun of the JW typo.

I get tired of hearing people wonder why LMH isn't able to take critically injured patients, seemingly without any idea about what it takes to have the doctors, nurses and everyone else trained and ready 24/7.

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