Injury Status (P54)

Posted by J Patrick Dolan III on September 7, 2011 - 2:18pm

I'm glad to see that Possible Injury has been added to Option 2. It seems obvious that there is a difference between a minor injury and a possible injury. I thought there was some consensus at the workshop that amputation of a single digit fit into the definition of Suspected Serious Injury by the first bullet point, but I see it is still listed under Suspected Minor Injury. I am in favor of adopting Option 2, but I would like to see this apparent contradiction addressed. In my humble opnion as a mathmetician it is a serious injury, and my nighttime musician persona would definitely agree with that assesment.

Suspected serious injuries

Posted by Tom Bragan on September 20, 2011 - 10:08am

      One of the objectives in changing the KABCO injury scheme is to better identify lifet threatening injuries. What follows is the answer to your question supplied by one of the EMS experts on the MMUCC expert panel:

       AIS (Abbreviated Injury Scale) scoring system is based on how life-threatening the injury is – that is, the higher the AIS score, the less likely the person is to survive the injury. The concept of “life-threatening” and “serious” are not necessarily the same. As in the single digit amputation example, an injury could be considered “serious” by a given individual, yet not be life-threatening.

       However, if we change the KABCO definitions to incorporate the “life-threatening” concept, then we’re asking law enforcement to make even more of a judgment call about how serious the injury is (which they’re reluctant to do already – and rightly so, since they haven’t been medically trained).

       In working on the definitions, we’ve tried to find a middle ground – that is, to provide definitions that law enforcement will feel comfortable with and yet are likely to yield a higher percent of life-threatening injuries in the “suspected serious injury” category than in the “suspected minor injury” category , etc. The definition system will never be perfect (that is, that every person recorded as “A” will have at least one injury with an AIS of 3 or greater), but by putting some of the low AIS injuries in the “suspected minor injury” category, we can try to improve the agreement with high AIS scores in the “suspected serious injury” category. Single digit amputations are easy to identify and are not life-threatening  – hence, they were included in the “suspected minor injury” classification.

It all boils down to the fact that we’re asking non-medically trained personnel to make an assessment of injury severity, and that what law enforcement might consider to be serious would not necessarily be considered as such by medical personnel.