Video registration of trauma team performance in the emergency department: the results of a 2-year analysis in a Level 1 trauma center

J Trauma. 2009 Dec;67(6):1412-20. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e31818d0e43.


Background: Trauma teams responsible for the first response to patients with multiple injuries upon arrival in a hospital consist of medical specialists or resident physicians. We hypothesized that 24-hour video registration in the trauma room would allow for precise evaluation of team functioning and deviations from Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) protocols.

Methods: We analyzed all video registrations of trauma patients who visited the emergency room of a Level I trauma center in the Netherlands between September 1, 2000, and September 1, 2002. Analysis was performed with a score list based on ATLS protocols.

Results: From a total of 1,256 trauma room presentations, we found a total of 387 video registrations suitable for analysis. The majority of patients had an injury severity score lower than 17 (264 patients), whereas 123 patients were classified as multiple injuries (injury severity score >or=17). Errors in team organization (omission of prehospital report, no evident leadership, unorganized resuscitation, not working according to protocol, and no continued supervision of the patient) lead to significantly more deviations in the treatment than when team organization was uncomplicated.

Conclusions: Video registration of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures by a multidisciplinary trauma team facilitates an accurate analysis of possible deviations from protocol. In addition to identifying technical errors, the role of the team leader can clearly be analyzed and related to team actions. Registration strongly depends on availability of video tapes, timely started registration, and hardware functioning. The results from this study were used to develop a training program for trauma teams in our hospital that specifically focuses on the team leader's functioning.

MeSH terms

  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Medical Errors / statistics & numerical data
  • Netherlands
  • Patient Care Team / standards*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care*
  • Trauma Centers / organization & administration*
  • Traumatology / organization & administration*
  • Video Recording*