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Western New York Region has best score for adult trauma survival

BUFFALO, NY May 18, 2010 - The New York State Department of Health completed a report that showed a top ranking for Erie County Medical Center, Western New York's only Adult Regional Trauma Center, and that the region had the best score for trauma survival. 

The report also showed that although ECMC had the second-highest "Expected Mortality Rate" in the state, it was one of only three hospitals that was significantly better than the state average for trauma survival.

The ECMC Adult Regional Trauma Center, which handles almost 60,000 visits a year, is the most successful statewide, according to the Health Department's 118-page report released last week called The New York State Trauma System 2003-2006. The time period is the most recent for which the department could report full statistics for all the state's 29 regional adult trauma centers.

One significant finding in the report was that ECMC faced some of the toughest cases and had some of the best results. Nine percent of all high-risk injuries statewide occurred in Western New York during the period the state studied, a disproportionate amount by population. With 909,247 people, Erie County is just 4.6 percent of the state's 19.5 million people.

"ECMC's superior outcomes are not only a tremendous benefit to the residents and taxpayers of Western New York, whose injured friends and relatives receive treatment here, but also demonstrate how our skilled surgeons, nurses, staff and the EMS community save lives every day," said ECMC CEO Jody L. Lomeo. "We cover a large region with patients who present multiple challenges, but we want everyone to know that they have a better chance of surviving coming to ECMC.  That's why some call ECMC the ‘Erie County Miracle Center'."

State statistics compiled for the report show that 147,944 trauma patients - those at risk of dying - were admitted to trauma units in the state in 2007, a decrease of 4.1 percent from the 154,054 trauma patients admitted in 1990. But the number of those patients listed by the state as having the highest risk of dying from their injuries rose to 26,815, 9.2 percent more than the 24,564 patients statewide in 1990.

Nationally, the age-adjusted trauma mortality rate per 100,000 people in the population was 6.97, compared to 5.54 for New York.

In terms of expectations, the Department of Health said based on age, health factors and other demographic markers, ECMC had an expected mortality rate, of 8.76 and a "Risk Adjusted Mortality Rate" of 6.06. 

The Western New York region had the best mortality "z-score" at -2.52. The z- score compares survivors in the study with expected outcomes. The z score indicates the statistical variance and significance of the difference between actual versus expected survivors.

ECMC, Albany Medical Center and University Hospital Stony Brook all had inpatient mortality rates significantly lower than the statewide mean.

"This report shows that seriously injured Western New Yorkers have a world-class trauma center an ambulance ride away from where they live, and once they arrive, they have a better chance of surviving than anywhere else statewide," said Dr. William J. Flynn Jr., ECMC clinical director of surgery. "Trauma is a complex system. From the 911 call to the ambulance to surgery to a patient's stay at ECMC, every step must go well and we are fortunate in Western New York to have the experts to create great outcomes."

Emergency room visits at ECMC since 2000 were 41,876; 2001, 43,101; 2002, 46,205; 2003, 46,965; 2004, 48,838; 2005, 48,670; 2006, 50,535; 2007, 52,142; 2008, 54,768; 2009, 58,492.

The hospital, which will retain its Adult Regional Trauma Center as it consolidates with Kaleida Health under the Great Lakes Health umbrella, is opening new private ER rooms in early June as part of a $2.8 million upgrade in facilities.   

http://www.nyhealth.gov/nysdoh/ems/pdf/03-06_trauma_report.pdf

MORE ABOUT ERIE COUNTY MEDICAL CENTER:

The ECMC Corporation includes an advanced academic medical center (ECMC) with 550 inpatient beds and 136 skilled-nursing-home beds, on- and off-campus health centers, more than 40 outpatient specialty care clinics and the Erie County Home, a skilled nursing facility. ECMC is the regional center for trauma, burn care, rehabilitation and is a major teaching facility for the University at Buffalo. Most ECMC physicians, dentists and pharmacists are dedicated faculty members of the university. More Western New York residents are choosing ECMC for exceptional patient care and customer service provided as a result of its Culture of Care. 

NEWS CONTACT: Tom Quatroche: 716-898-5503 / or tquatroc@ecmc.edu           

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5/18/2010

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