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Trauma patient deaths peak at two weeks

A new study by University of Leicester academics has shown that lower severity trauma patients could be more likely to die after two to three weeks.

Using data from the largest trauma database in Europe, the Trauma Audit and Research Network (TARN) database, Dr Evgeny Mirkes, Professor Tim Coats, Professor Jeremy Levesley and Professor Alexander Gorban used 165,559 trauma cases to conduct the research, among them 19,289 cases with unknown outcome.

The problem of multipeak mortality is well-known in trauma study. For the whole TARN dataset, the team found that the coefficient of mortality decreases monotonically over time. However, for lower severities, the coefficient of mortality is a non-monotonic function which may have maxima at the second and third weeks. This means that while the probability of dying for all trauma cases consistently decreases over time, there are peaks in the probability of death for those with less severe trauma who remain in a hospital at around 14 days and 21 days after admission.

In their paper “Handling missing data in large healthcare dataset: a case study of unknown trauma outcomes” which is published in journal Computers in Biology and Medicine, they also demonstrate that unknown trauma outcomes are not missed “completely at random” and show that it is impossible to exclude these cases from analysis despite the large amount of data available.

To read the paper, visit http://www.math.le.ac.uk/people/ag153/homepage/MirkesCoatsLevesleygorban2016.pdf.

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