Background: In armed conflicts, civilian health care struggles to cope. Being able to predict what resources are needed is therefore vital. The International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC) implemented in the 1990s the Red Cross Wound Score (RCWS) for assessment of penetrating injuries. It is unknown to what extent RCWS or the established trauma scores ampala trauma Score (KTS) and revised trauma score (RTS) can be used to predict surgical resource consumption and in-hospital mortality.
Methods: A retrospective study of routinely collected data on weapon-injured adults admitted to ICRC’s hospitals in Peshawar, 2009–2012 and Goma, 2012–2014. High resource consumption was defined as ≥3 surgical procedures, ≥3 blood-transfusions and/or amputation. The relationship between RCWS, KTS, RTS and resource consumption, in-hospital mortality was evaluated with logistic regression and adjusted receiver operating characteristic curves (AUC). The impact of missing data was assessed with imputation. Model fit was compared with Akaike Information Criterion (AIC).
Results: A total of 1564 patients were included, of these 834 patients had complete data. For high resource consumption AUC was significantly higher for RCWS (0.76) than for KTS (0.53) and RTS (0.51). Additionally, RCWS had lower AIC, indicating a better model fit. For in-hospital mortality AUC was significantly higher for RCWS (0.79) than for KTS (0.71) and RTS (0.70) for all patients, but not for patients with complete data.
Conclusion: RCWS appears to predict surgical resource consumption better than KTS and RTS. RCWS may be a promising tool for planning and monitoring surgical care in resource-scarce conflict settings.