Preventable trauma death in Tehran: an estimate of trauma care quality in teaching hospitals

J Trauma. 2003 Sep;55(3):459-65. doi: 10.1097/01.TA.0000027132.39340.FE.


Objective: The purpose of this study was estimate the number of preventable trauma deaths in teaching hospitals in Tehran.

Methods: We evaluated the complete prehospital, hospital, and postmortem data of 70 trauma patients who had died during a 1-year period in two of the largest university hospitals in Tehran with a multidisciplinary panel of experts.

Results: Panel members identified 26% of all trauma deaths as preventable deaths. From 31 non-central nervous system-related deaths, 17 and 6 cases were identified as surely preventable and probably preventable, respectively. In central nervous system-related deaths, 5% of the deaths overall (2 of 38 cases) were identified as surely preventable or probably preventable. Sixty-four cases of medical errors were identified in 31 trauma deaths and 80% of these errors were directly related to the death of the patients.

Conclusion: The high preventable trauma death rate in our teaching hospitals indicates that a relatively significant percentage of trauma fatalities could have been prevented by improving prehospital and in-hospital trauma care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Errors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality*
  • Hospitals, Teaching / standards
  • Hospitals, Teaching / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Male
  • Medical Errors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Time Factors
  • Transportation of Patients
  • Wounds and Injuries / diagnosis
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality*
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy