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Alcohol and Drug Screening in the National Trauma Data Bank: Is It Necessary?
Adel Elkbuli, MD, MPH1; Rudy Flores, BSPH, CSTR, CAISS, RHIT2; Dessy Boneva, MD1; Mark McKenney, MD, MBA1; Shaikh Hai, MD, FACS1
1Kendall Regional Medical Center, Miami, FL; 2HCA South Atlantic Division, Charleston, SC

Introduction: Alcohol and drug use can play a major role in the cause of unintentional and intentional injuries. Injury prevention and public health professionals must be able to obtain data pertaining to the use of alcohol and drug use in order to plan, promote, and evaluate successful interventions. The National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB) is the national repository of injury information and seems an ideal location to obtain this data. Our goal was to evaluate drug and alcohol screening at the national level.

Methods: The 2013 National Sample Program (NSP) and the 2016 Research Data Set (RDS) of the NTDB were reviewed. Alcohol and drug use indicators were reviewed for data completeness on all records contained in the data files.

Results: The NSP consisted of 172,386 observations and the 2016 RDS consisted of 968,665 observations. Of the trauma centers reporting in the NSP, there were 100,558 (58.33%) cases reported without alcohol screening information available. The RDS totaled 571,567 (58.99%) cases without alcohol screening information available. Drug use screening also remained low in the 2013 NSP and 2016 RDS, with 75.70% and 75.58% respectively, missing drug screening information.

Conclusion: The majority of traumatized patients do not have alcohol or drug screening, despite this being a major risk factor. Trauma centers should consider routinely collecting and reporting data on alcohol and drug use. Further research is needed to understand barriers to routine screening for alcohol and drugs.


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