Prolonged ICU stay and its association with 1-year trauma mortality: An analysis of 19,000 American patients

Document Type



General Surgery


Introduction: Prior research on patients with traumatic injury suggests high in-hospital survivability. However, little is known about their long-term outcomes, especially in the context of a prolonged ICU length-of-stay (LOS). We sought to determine the association between prolonged ICU-LOS and 1-year survival in trauma patients.
Methods: TRICARE claims data (2011-2015) were queried for trauma patients with an Injury Severity Score > 9. Risk-adjusted Cox models were used to determine the influence of prolonged ICU LOS on 1-year mortality.
Results: Of 19,155 patients included, 40% were admitted to the ICU. The overall 1-year mortality was 3.9% and 4.7% in patients with ICU LOS >9 days. In the multivariable model older age (55-64 vs. 18-24 years) (HR: 47.8, CI:20.8-109.9), prior comorbidities (>1 vs. 0) (HR: 2.6, CI: 2.1-3.2), discharge disposition (transfer vs discharge) (HR: 2.3 CI: 1.7-3.1) and ICU-LOS (>7 vs. 1 days) (HR:2.6, CI:1.7-4.0) were associated with 1-year mortality.
Conclusion: Prolonged ICU-LOS is a risk factor for 1-year mortality in trauma patients. But an overall high survival (>96%) reinforces the justification for such use of the ICU in trauma patients when clinically necessary.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University

Publication (Name of Journal)

The American Journal of Surgery