Introduction: Violence continues to be one of the leading causes of mortality in Colombia. We sought to describe and analyze a series of trauma patients that required intensive unit care in a high-complexity center in Cali, Colombia.

Materials and methods: Using data from the Panamerican Trauma Registry, we reviewed all victims of trauma that were admitted with an injury severity score higher or equal to 9 or with at least 6 hours of observation in the emergency room and required intensive care unit admission from January 2002 to December 2014.

Results: A total of 3,791 patients were included in the registry during the period observed, of which 1,202 corresponded to patients that required intensive care unit admission; 78.2% were male. Mean (standard deviation) age was 33.5 (21) years. A total of 43.1% suffered trauma with an injury severity score higher or equal to 15; 16.4% suffered traumatic brain injury and 35.7% suffered penetrating injuries. A total of 840 patients were taken to emergency surgery and 788 required mechanical ventilation. Median (interquartile range) of intensive care unit stay was 4 (2-7) days. Mortality in the intensive care unit was 11.2 vs 4.8 outside the intensive care unit. Multivariate regression analysis showed that factors associated with intensive care unit admission were a Glasgow coma scale <13, an injury severity score >15, the presence of polytrauma or polytrauma without traumatic brain injury, traumatic brain injury alone, and the presence of gunshot wounds.

Conclusion: Our multivariate analysis showed several factors associated with intensive care unit admission in a large trauma population.

Keywords: Injury severity indices of trauma, Intensive care for trauma, Trauma data systems.