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  1. Harrell, Kevin N. MD
  2. Spain, Stephanie J. RN, CCRN, TCRN
  3. Whiteaker, Kayla A. MSN, RN, TCRN, CEN
  4. Poulson, Jana L. RN, TCRN, AEMT
  5. Barker, Donald E. MD, FACS


Introduction: The American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma (ACS-CoT) sets standards for appropriate trauma activation criteria. Overtriage and undertriage rates are traditionally determined by the Cribari matrix using the Injury Severity Score (ISS). In 2016, the Need for Trauma Intervention (NFTI) criteria were developed by Baylor University Medical Center to overcome weaknesses in the Cribari matrix methodology.


Methods: A retrospective review of trauma triage rates was conducted from March 2018 to February 2019. Overtriage rates were calculated using the Cribari matrix and then further evaluated using modified NFTI (MNFTI) criteria. Overtriaged patients meeting MNFTI criteria were considered appropriately triaged and deleted from the overtriage category, and adjusted triage rates were determined. Demographic, injury, and outcome data were compared between MNFTI-positive and MNFTI-negative groups. A logistic regression analysis was performed to assess for predictors of patient mortality.


Results: Using the Cribari matrix, 248 patients were identified as overtriaged. Of these, 133 (53.6%) were found to meet MNFTI criteria. The average monthly overtriage rate was reduced from 55% using the Cribari matrix to 26% after applying the MNFTI criteria. Within the Cribari overtriage patient group, MNFTI-positive patients had significantly longer hospital length of stay (LOS) (3.7 vs. 6.0 days, p = .016), intensive care unit LOS (1.2 vs. 4.2 days, p < .001), and ventilator days (0.6 vs. 1.6 days, p = .002) than MNFTI-negative patients. A multivariable logistic regression analysis found that meeting any of the MNFTI criteria significantly increased the odds of mortality (OR = 10.38; 95% CI [3.87, 27.84], p < .001).


Conclusions: Discharge ISS may not accurately reflect the patient's acuity on presentation. Applying MNFTI criteria to the Cribari matrix improved overtriage rates and may more accurately reflect need for full trauma team activation. Patients meeting MNFTI criteria had worse outcomes overall and had a 10-fold increase in the odds of mortality.