Suicide attempt is a common cause for major trauma. Due to the underlying psychiatric disease, patients` compliance or even prognosis may be reduced. Modalities of discharge after surgical acute care might differ.
Retrospective study including trauma patients of two urban level 1 trauma centers between 2013 and 2017. Data originally collected for quality management using the German trauma registry were supplemented after review of medical charts with details on psychiatric disease and discharge modalities.
We included 2118 consecutive patients of which 108 (5%) attempted suicide. Most common psychiatric diagnosis were depression (38%) and schizophrenia (25.9%). Comparing patients after suicide attempt with others, suicide attempt was associated with a younger age (42.3 vs. 49.0 years), a higher injury severity (mean ISS 24.7 vs. 16.8) and consecutively, a higher expected mortality (risk-adjusted prognosis for mortality 18.0 vs. 8.1%), while observed mortality was lower than expected in both groups (16.7 vs. 6.4%). Survivors after suicide attempt had a longer stay on ICU (mean days on ICU 17 vs. 7). 56% were transferred to psychiatric facilities and only 4% could be discharged home after acute surgical care.
Incidence of suicide attempts among major trauma patients is high. Mean injury severity is higher than in unintended trauma and associated with a prolonged stay on intensive care unit even after adjustment for injury severity and age. Risk-adjusted mortality is not increased. Proportion of patients discharged home or to out-patient rehabilitation is very low. Specialized institutions who offer both, musculoskeletal rehabilitation and psychiatric care are required for rehabilitative treatment after the acute surgical care.