Towards Regionalized Care of Severe Orthopedic Injuries: A Survey on Non-university Hospitals in Finland

Handolin, Lauri; Lindahl, Jan; Lakovaara, Martti; Vihtonen, Kimmo; Leppäniemi, Ari
April 2007
European Journal of Trauma & Emergency Surgery;Apr2007, Vol. 33 Issue 2, p27
Academic Journal
The principles of a designated trauma system and regionalization of trauma care exist in very limited areas in Finland. In this study, we obtained information on the current personal opinions of orthopedicsin-chief (OICs) and surgeons-in-chief (SICs) towards regionalization of severe orthopedic trauma care in Finland. Materials and Methods: A questionnaire was sent to OICs and SICs working in 36 primary and secondary hospitals providing acute surgical care asking to give their personal opinions whether certain severe orthopedic injuries should be managed in their hospitals or be referred. Results: The overall response rate was 49/67 (73%). In general, SICs tended to be more reluctant to refer patients to higher level facilities. Both OICs and SICs were more willing to refer spinal and pelvic injuries than complicated long bone fractures. Conclusions: There seems to be major differences in personal views on referral policy between OICs and SICs. This information is useful prior to discussions by the professional organizations, hospitals, and the government in establishing a modern orthopedic trauma system in Finland.


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