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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Journal of clinical neuroscience : official journal of the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia.

Volume 21, Issue 10, October 2014, Pages 1725-29.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1016/j.jocn.2014.03.011. Copyright © Elsevier Inc.


Historical perceptions regarding the severity of traumatic spinal cord injury has led to considerable disparity in triage to tertiary care centers. This article retrospectively reviews a large regional trauma database to analyze whether the diagnosis of spinal trauma affected patient transfer timing and patterns. The Pennsylvania Trauma database was retrospectively reviewed. All acute trauma patient entries for level I and II centers were categorized for diagnosis, mechanism, and location of injury, analyzing transportation modality and its influence on time of arrival. A total of 1162 trauma patients were identified (1014 blunt injuries, 135 penetrating injuries and 12 other) with a mean transport time of 3.9 hours and a majority of patients arriving within 7 hours (>75%). Spine trauma patients had the longest mean arrival time (5.2 hours) compared to blunt trauma (4.2 hours), cranial neurologic injuries (4.35 hours), and penetrating injuries (2.13 hours, p

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