Acute surgical decision-making in abdominal trauma is not altered by race or socioeconomic status

Krista Haines*, Clayton Rust, Benjamin Pham Nguyen, Suresh Agarwal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Two main procedures are performed on patients suffering from colonic perforation, diverting colostomy and primary tissue repair. We investigated patient race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status (SES) that predicted surgical outcomes after blunt or penetrating trauma. A retrospective analysis was performed using data from the National Trauma Data Bank for three years (2013-2015). We identified patients who presented with primary colonic injury and subsequent colon operation (n 5 5431). Operations were grouped into three classes: Colostomy, ileostomy, and nonostomy. Multiple linear and logistic regressions were performed to assess how race and insurance status are associated with the primary outcome of interest (ostomy formation) and secondary outcomes such as length of stay, time spent in ICU, and surgical site infection. Neither race/ ethnicity nor insurance status proved to be reliable predictors for the formation of an ostomy. Patients who received either a colostomy or ileostomy were likely to have longer stays (OR [odds ratio]: 5.28; 95% CI [confidence interval]: 3.88-6.69) (OR: 11.24; 95% CI: 8.53-13.95), more time spent in ICU (2.73; 1.70-3.76) (7.98; 6.10-9.87), and increased risk for surgical site infection (1.32; 1.03-1.68) (2.54; 1.71-3.78). Race/ethnicity and SES were not reliable predictors for surgical decision-making on the formation of an ostomy after blunt and penetrating colonic injury. However, the severity of the injury as calculated by Injury Severity Score and the number of abdominal injuries were both associated with higher rates of colostomy and ileostomy. These data suggest that surgical decision-making is dependent on perioperative patient presentation and, not on race, ethnicity, or SES.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1869-1875
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


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