Academic consequences of a trauma system failure

R. P. Fischer, P. E. Pepe, R. L. Reed, D. H. Parks, F. D. Prentice, K. L. Mattox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Houston is served by only two trauma centers: Hermann Hospital (University of Texas Medical School at Houston [UTMSH]), and Ben Taub General Hospital (Baylor College of Medicine). In mid-1988, Hermann Hospital, prompted by a shortage of ICU nurses and $8.0 million/yr of uncollectible trauma charges, began to divert critically ill and injured patients to the already overburdened Ben Taub General Hospital. The academic consequences to UTMSH included a severe loss of clinical experience by the surgical residents and medical students and a severe reduction in faculty-generated billing. The lost billing from the trauma service and the other clinical services approximated $8.0 million/yr. This equated to an $13.5 million decrease in the anticipated billings for the year. Alternative revenue sources were not apparent. Other centers with a heavy trauma system commitment are at risk to suffer similar unsettling academic sequelae as our trauma systems fail.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)784-791
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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