Background: Currently, there is no established system for assessing disease severity in emergency general surgery (EGS) patients. The purpose of this project was to develop a uniform grading system for measuring anatomic severity of disease in this patient population.
Methods: The Committee on Patient Assessment and Outcomes of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma developed a proposal by consensus of experts for grading severity of EGS diseases. It was then reviewed and approved by the Board of Managers of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma.
Results: A uniform grading system for measuring anatomic severity of disease in EGS is described, with specific grades for eight commonly encountered gastrointestinal conditions. These grades range from Grade I through Grade V, reflecting an escalating clinical progression from mild disease limited within the organ itself to severe disease that is widespread.
Conclusion: This article provides a unified grading system for measuring anatomic severity of disease that is essential to advance the science of EGS. Once validated, a description of disease grade should be included in the emerging EGS registries and in research studies involving EGS patients.