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An overview of the injury severity score and the new injury severity score
  1. M Stevenson1,
  2. M Segui-Gomez1,
  3. I Lescohier1,
  4. C Di Scala2,
  5. G McDonald-Smith3
  1. 1Harvard Injury Control Research Center, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA
  2. 2National Pediatric Trauma Registry, New England Medical Center, Boston
  3. 3Trauma and Burn Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  1. Correspondence and reprint requests to:
 Dr Mark Stevenson, Road Accident Prevention Research Unit, Department of Public Health, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA 6907,


Objective—The research was undertaken to describe the injury severity score (ISS) and the new injury severity score (NISS) and to illustrate their statistical properties.

Design—Descriptive analysis and assessment of the distribution of these scales.

Methods—Three data sources—the National Pediatric Trauma Registry; the Massachusetts Uniform Hospital Discharge Data Set; and a trauma registry from an urban level I trauma center in Massachusetts—were used to describe the distribution of the ISS and NISS among injured patients.

Results—The ISS/NISS was found to have a positively skewed distribution and transformation did not improve their skewness.

Conclusion—The findings suggest that for statistical or analytical purposes the ISS/NISS should not be considered a continuous variable, particularly if ISS/NISS is treated as a continuous variable for correlation with an outcome measure.

  • injury severity score
  • new injury severity score
  • trauma

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