Defining the major trauma patient and trauma severity

Wanda W. Young, Joseph C. Young, J. Stanley Smith, Michael Rhodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Criteria for defining the major trauma patient have been specified by physicians using Injury Patient Management Categories (PMCs), a computerized classification that can be used effectively with routinely collected discharge abstract data from non-trauma center hospitals as well as trauma centers. These criteria for major trauma not only include the more severe and complex single injuries, but also include criteria for identifying combinations of injuries that require tertiary level care. Major trauma patients identified as tertiary using PMCs are compared with existing and frequently used measures of injury severity such as AIS and ISS. Analyses suggest that the Injury PMCs identify majpr trauma patients accurately and more specifically than other indicators of severity that are commonly used. In addition, unlike other measures that are generally limited to registries, PMC tertiary patient criteria differentiate major trauma patients at both trauma centers and non-trauma centers without additional data collection. Using this method thus facilitates trauma systems evaluation and patient outcome assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1125-1141
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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