Determinants of Prolonged Length of Stay among Patients with Road Traffic Injury at the Philippine General Hospital: A Retrospective Cohort Study
Introduction. Road traffic injuries are among the leading causes of preventable death, claiming around 7000 lives every year. Furthermore, road traffic can injure or disable thousands more every year in the Philippines.
Objectives. This study determined the hospital length-of-stay patterns and risk factors for a prolonged length of stay in a tertiary hospital after road traffic injury.
Methods. A retrospective cohort study was conducted to determine the determinants of the length of stay in the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) among road traffic injury victims for the year 2016. Length of stay was recorded according to the median. The other variables were cross-tabulated against the length of stay, and each of their crude odds ratios along with corresponding p-values were presented. Continuous variables were analyzed using Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney U-test. The predictor model for the determinants of prolonged length of stay in the hospital was built using forward selection. Likelihood-ratio test was used to compare the model with and without the exposure variable.
Results. A total of 427 road traffic injury victims were admitted to the Philippine General Hospital in 2016. The mean age of the patients was 31.55 years (±14.97) with a median age of 29 years. The majority of patients were males (82.4%) and single (60.8%). Most patients were riding a motorcycle during the time of the accident (64.2%) while 20% were pedestrians. The majority of the victims were intoxicated (74.3%) and were not using helmets (57.1%) at the time of the accident. Most of the victims received first aid (69.2%) and the mean time of admission was 3.03 (±13.31) days while the median time to admission was 12 hours. Receiving first aid (p<0.01), availed services (p<0.01), and married civil status (p=0.04) were found to be strongly associated with length of hospital stay. Without controlling for any confounders, pay patients (OR = 3.46, 95% CI: 1.3, -9.87), elective patients (OR = 7.88, 95% CI: 2.64, 31.61), and those in non-trauma wards (OR=2.07, 95% CI: 1.29, 3.36) had higher odds for longer hospitalization stay. On the other hand, those who did not receive first aid (OR = 0.55, CI:0.35, 0.85) had lower odds for prolonged hospitalization. Those who suffered face injury and did not suffer external injuries had a higher mean rank, suggesting a longer length of hospital stay. On the other hand, upon controlling variables found to be associated with previous studies, those with low Glasgow coma scale (GCS) scores were 2.77 times (95% CI: 1.13, 6.91) more likely to stay longer in the hospital.
Conclusion. The type of victim, mortality status, age, and sex were found to be important determinants of prolonged hospitalization. To lessen the number of fatalities and road trauma injuries, laws on road safety should be strictly and properly implemented. Shared responsibility of all road users is also important in improving the safe usage of roads.