Trauma systems use prehospital evaluation of anatomic and physiologic criteria and mechanism of injury (MOI) to determine trauma center need (TCN). MOI criteria are established nationally in a collaborative effort between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Surgeons’ Committee on Trauma and have been revised several times, most recently in 2011. Controversy exists as to which MOI criteria truly predict TCN. We review our single-center experience with past and present National Trauma Triage Criteria to determine which MOI predict TCN.
The trauma registry of an urban Level I trauma center was reviewed from 2001 to 2011 for all patients meeting only MOI criteria. Patients meeting any anatomic and physiologic criteria were excluded. TCN was defined as death, Injury Severity Score (ISS) of greater than 15, emergency department transfusion, intensive care unit admission, need for laparotomy/thoracotomy/vascular surgery within 24 hours of arrival, pelvic fracture, 2 or more proximal long bone fractures, or neurosurgical intervention during admission. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify which MOI predict TCN.
A total of 3,569 patients were transported to our trauma center who met only MOI criteria and had the MOI recorded in the registry; 821 MOI patients (23%) were identified who met our definition of TCN. Significant predictors of TCN included death in the same passenger compartment, ejection from vehicle, extrication time of more than 20 minutes, fall from more than 20 feet, and pedestrian thrown/runover. Criteria not meeting TCN include vehicle intrusion, rollover motor vehicle collision, speed of more than 40 mph, injury from autopedestrian/autobicycle of more than 5 mph, and both of the motorcycle crash (MCC) criteria.
With the exception of vehicle intrusion and MCC, the new National Trauma Triage Criteria accurately predicts TCN. In addition, extrication time of more than 20 minutes was a positive predictor of TCN in our system. Elimination of the vehicle intrusion and MCC criteria and reevaluation of extrication time merits further study.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE
Prognostic and epidemiologic, level III.