Background: The burden of injury is greatest in developing countries. Trauma systems have reduced mortality in developed countries and trauma registries are known to be integral to monitoring and improving trauma care. There are relatively few trauma registries in developing countries and no reviews describing the experience of each registry. The aim of this study was to examine the collective published experience of trauma registries in developing countries.
Methods: A structured review of the literature was performed. Relevant abstracts were identified by searching databases for all articles regarding a trauma registry in a developing country. A tool was used to abstract trauma registry details, including processes of data collection and analysis.
Results: There were 84 articles, 76 of which were sourced from 47 registries. The remaining eight articles were perspectives. Most were from Iran, followed by China, Jamaica, South Africa and Uganda. Only two registries used the Injury Severity Score (ISS) to define inclusion criteria. Most registries collected data on variables from all five variable groups (demographics, injury event, process of care, injury severity and outcome). Several registries collected data for less than a total of 20 variables. Only three registries measured disability using a score. The most commonly used scores of injury severity were the ISS, followed by Revised Trauma Score (RTS), Trauma and Injury Severity Score (TRISS) and the Kampala Trauma Score (KTS).
Conclusion: Amongst the small number of trauma registries in developing countries, there is a large variation in processes. The implementation of trauma systems with trauma registries is feasible in under-resourced environments where they are desperately needed.
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