Classification of trauma-related preventable death; protocol of a Delphi procedure

Nadia A. G. Hakkenbrak, Annelieke M. K. Harmsen, Wietse P. Zuidema, Udo J. L. Reijnders, Patrick Schober, Frank W. Bloemers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background Trauma-related (preventable) death is used to evaluate the management and quality of trauma care worldwide. Therefore, it is necessary to identify fatalities in the trauma care population and assess them on preventability. However, the definition on trauma-related preventable death lacks validity due to differences in terminology and classifications. This study aims to reach consensus on the definition of trauma-related preventable death by performing a Delphi procedure, thereby, improving the assessment of trauma-related preventable death and thereby enhancing the quality of trauma care. Methods Based on the results of a recently performed systematic review Hakkenbrak (2021). The definitions used to describe trauma-related preventable death could be divided into four categories: 1) Clinical definition based on panel review or expert opinion, 2) Trauma prediction algorithm, 3) Clinical definition with an additional trauma prediction algorithm and 4) Others (e.g., errors in care or detailed clinical definition). A three round, electronic Delphi study will be performed in the Netherlands to reach consensus. Experts from the department of Trauma surgery, Neurosurgery, Forensic medicine, Anaesthesiology and Emergency medicine, of the designated Level 1 trauma centres in the Netherlands, will be invited to participate. In the first round the panel will comment on the composed categories and trauma prediction algorithms. In the second and third round a feedback report will be presented and the questions with disagreement will be retested. Discussion The identification and assessment of trauma-related preventable death is necessary to evaluate and improve trauma care. Therefore, a valid, fair, and applicable definition of trauma-related preventable death is required. The Delphi technique is utilized to reach group consensus to obtain a scientifically valid definition of trauma-related preventable death.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0298692
Issue number5 May
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2024

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