Background: The burden of injury is very high in developing countries. Trauma systems reduce mortality; the trauma registry is a key driver of improvements in trauma care. Developing countries have begun to develop trauma systems but the level of local trauma registry activity is unclear. The aim of this study was to determine a global estimate of trauma registry activity.
Methods: A structured review of the literature was performed. All abstracts referring to a trauma registry over a two-year period were included. For the trauma registry described in each abstract, the source country was recorded. An additional search of web pages posted over a one year period was conducted. Those linked to an active trauma registry website were included and the country of the trauma registry was recorded. A selection of trauma registries from countries of different levels of development were identified and compared.
Results: 571 abstracts were included in the review. Most articles utilised "general" trauma registries (436(76%)) and were based at a single hospital (279(49%)). Other registries were limited to military or paediatric populations (36(6%) and 35(6%) articles respectively). Most articles sourced registries from the US (288(50%)), followed by Australia (45(8%)), Germany (32(6%)), Canada (27(5%)), UK (13(2%)), China (13(2%)) and Israel (12(2%)). The Americas produced most trauma registry articles and South East Asia the least. The majority of trauma registry articles originated from very highly developed countries 467(82%). Least developed countries had the fewest (5(1%)). The additional search yielded 37 web pages linked to 27 different trauma registry websites. Most of these were based in the US (16(59%)). The basic features of trauma registries, such as inclusion criteria, number and type of variables and injury severity scoring, varied widely depending on the country's level of development.
Conclusion: This review, using a combination of the number of trauma registry articles and web pages to locate active trauma registries, demonstrated the disparity in trauma registry activity between the most and least developed countries. The absence of trauma care information systems remains a challenge to trauma system development globally.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.