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Original Article

SJEMed. 2022; 3(1): 046-053

Incidence and reasons of interfacility transfer among trauma patients in Saudi Arabia, 2020

Nawfal Aljerian, Mohammed Arafat, Abdulrahman Aldhubaib, Ibrahim Almohaimeed, Ali Alsultan, Abdulaziz Alhosaini, Lyla Ashry, Sawsan Alharthi, Ghadeer Al Elawi, Yasir Albarrak.


Background: The absence of experienced physicians in certain specialties and the lack of medical services necessitates the need for interfacility transfer of patients with traumatic injuries. This study aimed to identify the incidence of interfacility transfers in trauma patients within a 28-day period and to evaluate the types and reasons of traumatic injuries requiring lifesaving transfer.
Methods: This was a retrospective noninterventional chart review study. Data were acquired from the Saudi Medical Appointments and Referrals Center in Saudi Arabia. Only lifesaving-labeled trauma patients were included in this study.
Results: A total of 370 trauma patients were included in this study. Most of the patients were male (325; 87.8%) with a mean age of 31 years. Blunt injuries were the most reported type of injury (213; 57.6%) and motor vehicle accidents were most common mechanism of injury (164; 44.3%). Head and neck injuries accounted for majority of the cases (144; 38.9%). Lack of specialty was the most frequently reported main reason for transfer (244; 66%) with neurosurgery being the most lacking specialty (94; 25.4%). Riyadh and Mecca were the two provinces that reported most referral requests (29.5% and 15.7%, respectively).
Conclusion: The recruitment and retention of qualified trauma care personnel, improving healthcare facilities, and purchasing medical equipment would minimize the need for interfacility transfer among trauma patients. Larger analytical studies are required to quantify and localize the deficit and the weakness of the system to ensure timely access to an initial healthcare facility and definitive treatment of trauma patients.

Key words: Keywords: Life Saving; Saudi Medical Appointments and Referrals Centre; Trauma; Morbidity; Mortality.

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