Methodology to reliably measure preventable trauma death rate

Stacy A. Drake, Dwayne A. Wolf, Janet C. Meininger, Stanley G. Cron, Thomas Reynold, Charles E. Wade, John B. Holcomb

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This article describes a methodology to establish a trauma preventable death rate (PDR) in a densely populated county in the USA. Harris County has >4 million residents, encompasses a geographic area of 1777 square miles and includes the City of Houston, Texas. Although attempts have been made to address a national PDR, these studies had significant methodological flaws. There is no national consensus among varying groups of clinicians for defining preventability or documenting methods by which preventability is determined. Furthermore, although trauma centers routinely evaluate deaths within their hospital for preventability, few centers compare across regions, within the prehospital arena and even fewer have evaluated trauma deaths at non-trauma centers. Comprehensive population-based data on all trauma deaths within a defined region would provide a framework for effective prevention and intervention efforts at the regional and national levels. The authors adapted a military method recently used in Southwest Asia to determine the potential preventability of civilian trauma deaths occurring across a large and diverse population. The project design will allow a data-driven approach to improve services across the entire spectrum of trauma care, from prevention through rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere000106
JournalTrauma Surgery and Acute Care Open
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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