[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Different criteria are employed to activate trauma teams. Because of a growing concern about overtriage, the objective of this study was to investigate the performance of our trauma team's activation protocol.
Injured patients with trauma team activation (TTA), admission to an intensive care unit or surgical intermediate care unit with a trauma diagnosis, or trauma-related death in the emergency department were investigated retrospectively from 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2005. Different TTA criteria were analysed with respect to sensitivity, positive predictive value (PPV) and overtriage (1 - PPV).
Eight hundred and nine patients were included, 185 (23%) of whom had an Injury Severity Score (ISS) of more than 15. The performance of our protocol showed a sensitivity of 87%, PPV of 22% and overtriage of 78%. The mechanism of injury as a TTA criterion had a sensitivity of 14%, PPV of 7% and overtriage of 93%. Physiological/anatomical criteria and interfacility transfer showed higher PPV and less overtriage. Undertriage (no TTA despite ISS > 15) was identified in 23 patients (13%), 18 of whom were hospital transfers.
A TTA protocol based on physiological, anatomical and interfacility transfer criteria seems to yield a higher precision than, in particular, that based on mechanism of injury criteria. Because of substantial overtriage in our hospital, the TTA protocol needs to be re-evaluated.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the efficiency (sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, overtriage, and undertriage) of activation of the trauma team in a Norwegian trauma referral centre.
A cohort study with univariate and multivariate analysis.
A primary trauma hospital and trauma referral centre, Norway.
3391 injured patients admitted during a 12 months period, starting January 15th, 1996.
Activation of the trauma team for severely injured patients and factors associated with correct activation.
Of the 3383 injured patients admitted, 283 (8%) were classified as severely injured. Of 507 activations of the trauma team, 240 (47%) were for severely injured patients (sensitivity 85%, undertriage 15%, specificity 91%, overtriage 9%, positive predictive value 0.47). The system of activation was significantly more efficient for patients admitted by anaesthetist-manned ambulances than by ordinary ground ambulances (sensitivity 94% compared with 83%, corresponding positive predictive value 0.55 and 0.33, p < 0.05). Female sex and age over 70 years were independent factors associated with significantly less use of the trauma team in severely injured patients (p < 0.05).
The undertriage rate of 15% and a positive predictive value of only 0.47 indicates a need for improvement of our activation system. Female sex and age over 70 years were significantly associated with undertriage in severely injured patients. Our protocol for triage and the initial treatment of severely injured patients has been revised in the light of these findings, and we have established a trauma registry.
The European Journal of Surgery 11/2000; 166(10):760-4.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the precision of our trauma triage protocol [based on the American College of Surgeons, Committee on Trauma (ACS COT)] in identifying severely injured defined as an injury severity score (ISS) > 15. Our hypothesis was that isolated mechanism-of-injury criteria were responsible for a significant over-triage leading to over-use of our trauma team.
Design: A prospective cohort study. Setting: A level I trauma centre, Aarhus, Denmark. Patients and participants: Among all injured patients admitted during a 6-month period in 2003 we identified severely injured. During the study period, trauma team activations were consecutively registered and triage criteria were prospectively collected. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, over-triage and under-triage were calculated.
Out of 15,162 patients in the emergency department, 848 injured patients were included and 59 (7%) were severely injured. We had 242 trauma team activations with 54 (22%) severely injured. Sensitivity was 92%, specificity 76%, giving an over-triage of 24% and an under-triage of 8%. The positive predictive value was 22%. Among 60 patients with mechanism-of-injury as the only criterion, five were severely injured in contrast to 12 out of 20 patients with mechanism-of-injury combined with physiological and/or anatomical criteria.
The positive predictive value of our triage protocol was low, only 22%. This was mainly as a result of a significant over-triage from isolated mechanism-of-injury criteria. We recommend revision of the triage protocol and reallocation of our trauma team resources.
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