Trauma-related admissions to intensive care units in Australia: the influence of Indigenous status on outcomes

Fraser Magee, Anthony Wilson, Michael J. Bailey, David Pilcher, Paul J. Secombe, Paul Young, Rinaldo Bellomo

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Objectives: To investigate the admission characteristics and hospital outcomes for Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients admitted to intensive units (ICUs) after major trauma. Design, setting: Retrospective analysis of Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) Adult Patient Database data from 92 Australian ICUs for the 6-year period, 2010–2015. Participants: Patients older than 17 years of age admitted to public hospital ICUs with a primary diagnosis of trauma. Main outcome measures: ICU and overall hospital lengths of stay, hospital discharge destination, and ICU and overall hospital mortality rates for Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients. Results: 23 804 people were admitted to Australian public hospital ICUs after major trauma; 1754 (7.4%) were Indigenous Australians. The population-standardised incidence of admissions was consistently higher for Indigenous Australians than for non-Indigenous Australians (847 per million v 251 per million population; incidence ratio, 3.37; 95% CI, 3.19–3.57). Overall hospital mortality rates were similar for Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.04; 95% CI, 0.82–1.31). Indigenous patients were more likely than non-Indigenous patients to be discharged to another hospital (non-Indigenous v Indigenous: aOR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.72–0.96) less likely to be discharged home (non-Indigenous v Indigenous: aOR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.04–1.31). Conclusion: The population rate of trauma-related ICU admissions was substantially higher for Indigenous than non-Indigenous patients, but hospital mortality rates after ICU admission were similar. Indigenous patients were more likely to be discharged to a another hospital and less likely to be discharged home than non-Indigenous patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-498
Number of pages6
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • Intensive care
  • Trauma surgery

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