Background Trauma systems reduce mortality; the trauma registry is a key driver of improvements in trauma care. Developing countries have begun to develop trauma systems but there is relatively little trauma registry experience in less-resourced settings.
Aims The aim of this study was to review the published experience of trauma registries in developing countries.
Methods A structured review of the literature was performed. All abstracts referring to a trauma registry in a developing country as defined by the United Nations Human Development Index were included. The Trauma Registry Assessment Tool was applied to the search results to collect and analyse the experience of trauma registries in developing countries.
Results There were 84 articles, 76 of which were sourced from 46 registries. The remaining 8 articles were perspectives. Most were from Iran, followed by China, Jamaica and Uganda. Regarding data methodology, only 4 registries used ISS to define inclusion criteria. Most registries collected data on variables from all five variable groups. Several registries collected data for less than 20 variables. Only 3 registries measured disability using a score. The most common scores of injury severity were ISS, followed by RTS, TRISS and the Kampala Trauma Score.
Significance Several countries are responsible for the majority of developing country trauma registry publications. ISS is unlikely to be used to define inclusion criteria, and the Kampala Trauma Score is not uncommonly used to measure injury severity. The trauma registry experience of developing countries can inform trauma registry development in similar settings.
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