Preventable Trauma Death in Tehran: An Estimate of Trauma Care Quality in Teaching Hospitals

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Abstract

Objective

The purpose of this study was estimate the number of preventable trauma deaths in teaching hospitals in Tehran.

Methods

We evaluated the complete prehospital, hospital, and postmortem data of 70 trauma patients who had died during a 1-year period in two of the largest university hospitals in Tehran with a multidisciplinary panel of experts.

Results

Panel members identified 26% of all trauma deaths as preventable deaths. From 31 non–central nervous system–related deaths, 17 and 6 cases were identified as surely preventable and probably preventable, respectively. In central nervous system–related deaths, 5% of the deaths overall (2 of 38 cases) were identified as surely preventable or probably preventable. Sixty-four cases of medical errors were identified in 31 trauma deaths and 80% of these errors were directly related to the death of the patients.

Conclusion

The high preventable trauma death rate in our teaching hospitals indicates that a relatively significant percentage of trauma fatalities could have been prevented by improving prehospital and in-hospital trauma care.

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