HealthDay News — For patients with gunshot or stab wounds, private vehicle transport is associated with significantly lower likelihood of death than emergency medical services (EMS) transport, according to a study published online in JAMA Surgery.

Michael W. Wandling, MD, from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study of data included in the National Trauma Data Bank comprising 298 levels 1 and 2 trauma centers to assess whether private vehicle prehospital transport confers a survival advantage versus ground EMS transport following penetrating injuries. Data were included for 103,029 patients (87.6% male), all aged 16 years or older (mean age, 32.3 years), and with a gunshot wound or stab wound.

The researchers found that the likelihood of dying was lower for individuals with penetrating injuries transported by private vehicle than those transported by ground EMS following risk adjustment (odds ratio, .38). On stratified analysis of the gunshot and stab wound subgroups, the association remained statistically significant (odds ratios, .45 and .32, respectively).

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“System-level evidence such as this can be a valuable tool for those responsible for developing and implementing policies at the trauma system level,” the authors write.

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Wandlin MW, Nathens AB, Shapiro MB, et al. Association of prehospital mode of transport with mortality in penetrating trauma: a trauma system-level assessment of private vehicle transportation vs ground emergency medical services [published online September 20, 2017]. JAMA Surg. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2017.3601