Is mechanism of injury alone in the prehospital setting a predictor of major trauma - a review of the literature.

Malcolm James Boyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


BACKGROUND: The literature identifying mechanism of injury came to prominence in the mid to late 1980s. The current Victorian prehospital triage guidelines do not necessarily reflect the conditions within the Victorian population as the triage guidelines are based on studies undertaken and validated in the U.S.A. The objective of this study was to identify the mechanism of injury alone literature and the predictability of the mechanism criteria. METHODS: A search of the prehospital related electronic databases was undertaken utilising the Ovid and EMASE systems available through the Monash University library. The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, CINAHL, and EMBASE databases were searched from their beginning until the end of June 2006. Selected non-electronic listed prehospital journals were hand searched. References from articles gathered were reviewed. RESULTS: The electronic database search located 203 articles for review. Three additional articles were identified from the reference lists. Of these articles 17 were considered relevant. After reviewing the articles only five provided sufficient information about mechanism of injury alone and its triage capability. None of the articles identified mechanism of injury criteria as a good predictor of major trauma. CONCLUSION: This study identified only five articles on the predictability of the mechanism of injury criteria alone. All studies stated that the mechanism of injury criteria alone are not good predictors of major trauma or the need for trauma team activation. This study was the precursor of a Victorian prehospital study to determine the predictability of the mechanism of injury alone criteria for trauma patients in the Australian context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Trauma Management & Outcomes
Issue number1:4
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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