Population-based research assessing the effectiveness of trauma systems

Richard J. Mullins, N. Clay Mann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

177 Scopus citations


Objective: To review published evidence regarding the effectiveness of trauma systems by using population-based data. Design: A systematic review of peer-reviewed literature assessing the influence of trauma system implementation on the outcome of all injured patients. Materials and Methods: Literature available in MEDLINE, HealthSTAR, and CINHAL was reviewed for studies that use population-based data to assess the benefit of trauma system development. Studies were included that assessed trauma systems in North America and used a comparison or control group in the analysis. Main Results: Published evidence, reported for eight of the nine trauma systems evaluated, demonstrates improved outcomes, principally measured as hospital survival. Improvement occurred after the trauma system or some component of a trauma system (e.g., sophisticated prehospital care) was established. Conclusion: Population-based evidence supports a 15 to 20% improved survival rate among seriously injured patients with trauma system implementation. Future study is required to determine whether trauma systems improve the outcome of all injured patients, not just high-risk subsets of the population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S59-S66
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number3 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Sep 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Historical background
  • Trauma Systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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