Trauma care in Italy: evidence of in-hospital preventable deaths

J Trauma. 1994 Mar;36(3):401-5.


The quality of a trauma system can be assessed by the rate of preventable deaths. A random selected sample of 110 trauma patients was examined using both clinical and autopsy data. The assessors were asked the following question: If this patient had sustained the accident in front of the hospital in a normal working day, might death have been prevented? Death was found to be unavoidable in 61 cases, in 25 cases death was classified potentially preventable; 11 cases were classified as clearly preventable death. The main failures of treatment were identified as errors and delays during the first phases of in-hospital assessment and care. An improvement in the pre-hospital phase will be almost useless if the quality of the definitive in-hospital management is not addressed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / mortality
  • Emergency Medical Services / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / mortality
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sampling Studies
  • Shock / mortality
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality*
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy