Hospital factors associated with splenectomy for splenic injury: A national perspective

Rob R. Todd, Melanie Arthur, Craig Newgard, Jerris R. Hedges, Richard J. Mullins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Background: The management of patients with splenic injury has shifted from routine splenectomy to attempts at splenic salvage. Using the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project's National Inpatient Sample (HCUP-NIS), we assessed the patterns of care for splenic trauma. We hypothesized that the processes of care in urban and rural hospitals would differ. Methods. Generalized estimating equations were used to identify predictor variables associated with laparotomy and splenectomy from a national, population-based sample of inpatients (HCUP-NIS). Fourteen thousand nine hundred one patients with an International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification discharge diagnosis code of 865 were selected from the 1998 to 2000 HCUP-NIS data. Exclusion criteria included age greater than 80 years. Analyses were compared using all patients and excluding patients who died during the first 2 hospital days. Results. Eight thousand five hundred fifty-three patients were treated in urban teaching hospitals. Forty percent underwent a laparotomy and 28% underwent a splenectomy at that time. Another 4,461 patients were cared for in urban nonteaching hospitals. Of these, 46% had a laparotomy and 35% underwent a splenectomy. The remaining 1,887 patients were seen in rural hospitals. Forty-six percent had a laparotomy and 36% had a splenectomy. Patients in urban teaching hospitals had lower risk-adjusted odds of splenectomy in multivariate models controlling for confounders including overall injury severity. Overall splenic salvage increased from 1998 to 2000, primarily because of increased salvage rates among urban teaching hospitals. Conclusion. The management of patients with splenic injury differs among urban teaching, urban nonteaching, and rural hospitals. Surgeons at urban teaching hospitals appear more willing to attempt splenic salvage by means of nonoperative management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1065-1071
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • Hospital factors
  • Laparotomy
  • Splenectomy
  • Splenic injury
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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