Assessment of injury severity in patients with major trauma
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Assessment of injury severity in patients with major trauma

Penelope Stanford Lecturer in adult nursing, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Manchester, Manchester, England
Nicola Booth Senior sister, newborn intensive care unit, St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester, England
Janet Suckley Consultant physiotherapist and registered osteopath, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, England
Timothy Twelvetree Research fellow, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, University of Manchester, Manchester, England
Debbie Thomas Project manager, Directorate of Outpatient Medical Specialities, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, England

Major trauma centres provide specialised care for patients who have experienced serious traumatic injury. This article provides information about major trauma centres and outlines the assessment tools used in this setting. Since patients in major trauma centres will be transferred to other settings, including inpatient wards and primary care, this article is relevant for both nurses working in major trauma centres and in these areas. Traumatic injuries require rapid assessment to ensure the patient receives prompt, adequate and appropriate treatment. A range of assessment tools are available to assist nurses in major trauma centres and emergency care to assess the severity of a patient’s injury. The most commonly used tools are triage, Catastrophic Haemorrhage Airway to Exposure assessment, pain assessment and the Glasgow Coma Scale. This article summarises the use of these assessment tools in these settings, and discusses the use of the Injury Severity Score (ISS) to determine the severity of patient injuries.

Nursing Standard. 30, 49, 54-63. doi: 10.7748/ns.2016.e10342

Correspondence

penelope.stanford@manchester.ac.uk

Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 12 November 2015

Accepted: 04 March 2016