Evaluation of a Consensus-Based Criterion Standard Definition of Trauma Center Need for Use in Field Triage Research

Brian D. Willenbring, E. Brooke Lerner, Karen Brasel, Jeremy T. Cushman, Clare E. Guse, Manish N. Shah, Robert Swor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research on field triage of injured patients is limited by the lack of a widely used criterion standard for defining trauma center need. Injury Severity Score (ISS) >15 has been a commonly used outcome measure in research for determining trauma center need that has never been validated. A multidisciplinary team recently published a consensus-based criterion standard definition of trauma center need, but this measure has not yet been validated. The objective was to determine if the consensus-based criterion standard can be obtained by medical record review and compare patients identified as needing a trauma center by the consensus-based criterion standard vs. ISS >15. A subanalysis of data collected during a 2-year prospective cohort study of 4,528 adult trauma patients transported by EMS to a single trauma center was conducted. These data included ICD-9-CM codes, treatment times, and other patient care data. Presence of the consensus-based criterion standard was determined for each patient. ISS was calculated based on ICD-9-CM codes assigned for billing. The consensus-based criterion standard could be applied to 4,471 (98.7%) cases. ISS could be determined for 4,506 (99.5%) cases. Based on an ISS >15, 8.9% of cases were identified as needing a trauma center. Of those, only 48.2% met the consensus-based criterion standard. Almost all patients that did not meet the consensus-based criterion standard, but had an ISS >15 were diagnosed with chest (rib fractures (100/205 cases)/pneumothorax (57/205 cases), closed head (without surgical intervention 88/205 cases), vertebral (without spinal cord injury 45/205 cases), and/or extremity injuries (39/205 cases). There were 4,053 cases with an ISS <15. 5.0% of those with an ISS <15 met the consensus-based criterion standard with the majority requiring surgery (139/203 cases) or a blood transfusion (60/203 cases). The kappa coefficient of agreement for ISS and the consensus-based criterion standard was 0.43. We determined that the consensus-based criterion standard could be identified through a medical record review. Use of the consensus-based criterion standard for field triage research will more accurately identify injured patients who need the resources of a trauma center when compared to ISS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalPrehospital Emergency Care
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2016

Keywords

  • emergency medical services
  • field triage
  • trauma centers
  • wounds and injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency

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