Background: A trauma registry is an integral component of modern comprehensive trauma care systems. Trauma registries have not been established in most developing countries, and where they exist are often rudimentary and incomplete. This review describes the role of trauma registries in the care of the injured, and discusses how lessons from developed countries can be applied toward their design and implementation in developing countries.
Methods: A detailed review of English-language articles on trauma registry was performed using MEDLINE and CINAHL. In addition, relevant articles from non-indexed journals were identified with Google Scholar.
Results: The history and development of trauma registries and their role in modern trauma care are discussed. Drawing from past and current experience, guidelines for the design and implementation of trauma registries are given, with emphasis on technical and logistic factors peculiar to developing countries.
Conclusion: Improvement in trauma care depends on the establishment of functioning trauma care systems, of which a trauma registry is a crucial component. Hospitals and governments in developing countries should be encouraged to establish trauma registries using proven cost-effective strategies.