Preventable deaths in a French regional trauma system: A six-year analysis of severe trauma mortality.

Research paper by E E Girard, Q Q Jegousso, B B Boussat, P P François, F-X FX Ageron, C C Letoublon, P P Bouzat,

Indexed on: 29 May '18Published on: 29 May '18Published in: Journal of Visceral Surgery


Analyzing mortality in a mature trauma system is useful to improve quality of care of severe trauma patients. Standardization of error reporting can be done using the classification of the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). The aim of our study was to describe preventable deaths in our trauma system and to classify errors according to the JCAHO taxonomy. We performed a six-year retrospective study using the registry of the Northern French Alps trauma network (TRENAU). Consecutive patients who died in the prehospital field or within their stay at hospital were included. An adjudication committee analyzed deaths to identify preventable or potentially preventable deaths from 2009 to 2014. All errors were classified using the JCAHO taxonomy. Within the study period, 503 deaths were reported among 7484 consecutive severe trauma patients (overall mortality equal to 6.7%). Seventy-two (14%) deaths were judged as potentially preventable and 36 (7%) deaths as preventable. Using the JACHO taxonomy, 170 errors were reported. These errors were detected both in the prehospital setting and in the hospital phase. Most were related to clinical performance of physicians and consisted of rule-based or knowledge based failures. Prevention or mitigation of errors required an improvement of communication among caregivers. Standardization of error reporting is the first step to improve the efficiency of trauma systems. Preventable deaths are frequently related to clinical performance in the early phase of trauma management. Universal strategies are necessary to prevent or mitigate these errors. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.