• Defining major trauma: a Delphi study

      Thompson, Lee; Hill, Michael; Lecky, Fiona; Shaw, Gary (2021-05-10)
    • Defining major trauma: a literature review

      Thompson, Lee; Hill, Michael; Shaw, Gary (2019-06-01)
      Introduction: Major trauma in the elderly population has been increasingly reported over the past decade. Compared to younger populations, elderly patients may experience major trauma as a result of low mechanisms of injury (MOIs) and as a result, existing definitions for ‘major trauma’ should be challenged. This literature review provides an overview of previous conceptualisations of defining ‘major trauma’ and considers their utility in relation to the pre-hospital phase of care. Methods: A systematic search strategy was performed using CINAHL, Cochrane Library and Web of Science (MEDLINE). Grey literature and key documents from cited references were also examined. Results: A total of 121 articles were included in the final analysis. Predominantly, retrospective scoring systems, such as the Injury Severity Score (ISS), were used to define major trauma. Pre-hospital variables considered indicative of major trauma included: fatal outcomes, injury type/pattern, deranged physiology and perceived need for treatment sequelae such as intensive care unit (ICU) admission, surgical intervention or the administration of blood products. Within the pre-hospital environment, retrospective scoring systems as a means of identifying major trauma are of limited utility and should not detract from the broader clinical picture. Similarly, although MOI is often a useful consideration, it should be used in conjunction with other factors in identifying major trauma patients. Conclusions: In the pre-hospital environment, retrospective scoring systems are not available and other variables must be considered. Based upon this review, a working definition of major trauma is suggested as: ‘A traumatic event resulting in fatal injury or significant injury with accompanying deranged physiology, regardless of MOI, and/or is predicted to require significant treatment sequelae such as ICU admission, surgical intervention, or the administration of blood products’. Abstract published with permission.