Geospatial Analysis of Prehospital Triage and Early Potential Preventable Traumatic Deaths

Garrett N. Klutts, Kyle J. Kalkwarf, Yijiong Yang, Joseph P. Gill, Charles E. Wade, David Persse, Dwayne A. Wolf, Joe P. Deloach, Weston A. Smedley, Seana L. Corbin, Kevin Schulz, Jeff Tabor, Avi Bhavaraju, Stacy Drake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Severely injured patients often depend on prompt prehospital triage for survival. This study aimed to examine the under-triage of preventable or potentially preventable traumatic deaths. A retrospective review of Harris County, TX, revealed 1848 deaths within 24 hours of injury, with 186 being preventable or potentially preventable (P/PP). The analysis evaluated the geospatial relationship between each death and the receiving hospital. Out of the 186 P/PP deaths, these were more commonly male, minority, and penetrating mechanisms when compared with NP deaths. Of the 186 PP/P, 97 patients were transported to hospital care, 35 (36%) were transported to Level III, IV, or non-designated hospitals. Geospatial analysis revealed an association between the location of initial injury and proximity to receiving Level III, IV, and non-designated centers. Geospatial analysis supports proximity to the nearest hospital as one of the primary reasons for under-triage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3322-3324
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number7
Early online dateFeb 17 2023
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • geospatial analysis
  • preventable mortality
  • trauma deaths
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Trauma Centers
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Triage
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Wounds and Injuries/therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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