Mortality-based Quantification of Injury Severity for Frequently Occurring Motor Vehicle Crash Injuries

Ann Adv Automot Med. 2013;57:235-46.


The study purpose was to develop mortality-based metrics of injury severity for frequent motor vehicle crash (MVC) injuries. Injury severity was quantified with mortality-based metrics for 240 injuries comprising the top 95% most frequently occurring AIS 2+ injuries in the National Automotive Sampling System - Crashworthiness Data System (NASS-CDS) 2000-2011. Mortality risk ratios (MRRs) were computed by dividing the number of deaths by occurrences for each of the 240 injuries using National Trauma Data Bank Research Data System (NTDB-RDS) MVC cases. MRRMAIS was computed using only patients with a maximum AIS (MAIS) equal to the AIS severity of a given injury. Each injury had an associated MRR and MRRMAIS which ranged from zero (0% mortality representing low severity) to one (100% or universal mortality representing high severity). Injuries with higher MRR and MRRMAIS values are considered more severe because they resulted in a greater proportion of deaths among injured patients. The results illustrated an overall positive trend between AIS severity and the MRR and MRRMAIS values as expected, but showed large variations in MRR and MRRMAIS for some injuries of the same AIS severity. Mortality differences up to 83% (MRR) and 54% (MRRMAIS) were observed for injuries of the same AIS severity. The MRR-based measures of injury severity indicate that some lower AIS severity injuries may result in as many deaths as higher AIS severity injuries. This data-driven determination of injury severity using MRR and MRRMAIS provides a supplement or an alternative to AIS severity classification.