Trauma patients: an analysis of rural ambulance trip reports.
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This study summarizes all 2,550 trauma-related rural ambulance trip reports filed for the period January 1 through December 31, 1991 from the 12 rural counties surrounding Augusta, Georgia. There were 13.1 trauma-related ambulance runs per 1,000 population. Nearly one third of all rural ambulance runs are trauma related. Severe trauma constituted less than 8.0% of trauma cases. Forty-one cases died at the scene and 19 additional cases died from any cause within 30 days of transport. The mean response time was 8.5 minutes and in 90% of all rural trauma runs the ambulance arrived in 17 minutes or less. Only 51.5% of runs had a rural hospital as a destination, 14.2% went directly to a trauma center, and nearly 20% to another urban hospital. Of the 71 severe trauma cases received by ambulance, rural hospitals transferred out only 13 cases, most of these to the regional trauma center. Of the 47 trauma cases transferred to the trauma center, 33 were not severe.