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Determining objective injury prevention priorities
  1. D J Wiebe1,
  2. M L Nance1,3,
  3. C C Branas1,2
  1. 1Firearm & Injury Center at Penn (FICAP), University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA
  2. 2Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania
  3. 3Department of Surgery, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Douglas J Wiebe
 Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA; dwiebe{at}


Background and objective: Finite injury prevention resources make the establishment of prevention priorities essential. Toward this end, the US National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB) for 2000 to 2004 was accessed and four injury prevention priority scores (one previously defined and three new scores) were computed.

Methods: An injury prevention priority score (IPPS) was calculated based on the frequency of an injury mechanism and the median injury severity score. In addition, a mortality priority score (Mort-PS), a hospital charge priority score (Charge-PS), and a years of potential life lost (YPLL-PS) priority score were calculated for the 13 most common injury mechanisms.

Results: There was variability across the four scores, but motor vehicle traffic, firearm related, and fall injuries ranked high on all four of the priority criteria. Multiple criteria should be considered when assessing injury burden.

Conclusions: The methods presented here can help prioritize injuries and support more objective public policies.

  • Charge-PS, hospital charge priority score
  • IPPS, injury prevention priority score
  • ISS, injury severity score
  • Mort-PS, mortality priority score
  • NTDB, National Trauma Data Bank
  • YPLL, years of potential life lost
  • YPLL-PS, years of potential life lost priority score
  • injury
  • trauma
  • injury prevention priorities
  • surveillance

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