In order to improve the quality of criteria for trauma-team-activation it is necessary to identify patients who benefited from the treatment by a trauma team. Therefore, we evaluated a post hoc criteria catalogue for trauma-team-activation which was developed in a consensus process by an expert group and published recently.
The objective was to examine whether the catalogue can identify patients that died after admission to hospital and therefore can benefit of a specialized trauma team mostly.
Materials and Method
The catalogue was applied to the data of 75,613 patients from the TraumaRegister DGU® between the 01/2007 and 12/2016 with a maximum Abbreviated Injury Score (AIS) severity ≥ 2. The endpoint was hospital mortality, which was defined as death before discharge from acute care.
The TraumaRegister DGU® dataset contains 18 of the 20 proposed criteria within the catalogue which identified 99.6% of the patients who were admitted to the trauma room following an accident and who died during their hospital stay. Moreover, our analysis showed that at least one criterion was fulfilled in 59,785 cases (79.1%). The average ISS in this group was 21.2 points (SD 9.9). None of the examined criteria applied to 15,828 cases (average ISS 8.6; SD 5). The number of consensus-based criteria correlated with the severity of injury and mortality. Of all deceased patients (8,451), only 31 (0.37%) could not be identified on the basis of the 18 examined criteria. Where only one criterion was fulfilled, mortality was 1.7%; with 2 or more criteria, mortality was at least 4.6%.
The consensus-based criteria identified nearly all patients who died as a result of their injuries. If only one criterion was fulfilled, mortality was relatively low. However, it increased to almost 5% if two criteria were fulfilled. Further studies are necessary to analyse and examine the relative weighting of the various criteria.
Our instrument is capable to identify severely injured patients with increased in-hospital mortality and injury severity. However, a minimum of two criteria needs to be fulfilled. Based on these findings, we conclude that the criteria list is useful for post hoc analysis of the quality of field triage in patients with severe injury.