Establishing an enduring Military Trauma Mortality Review: Misconceptions and lessons learned.
Under direction from the Defense Health Agency, subject matter experts (SMEs) from the Joint Trauma System, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System, and civilian sector established the Military Trauma Mortality Review process. To establish the most empirically robust process, these SMEs used both qualitative and quantitative methods published in a series of peer-reviewed articles over the last 3 years. Most recently, the Military Mortality Review process was implemented for the first time on all battle-injured service members attached to the United States Special Operations Command from 2001 to 2018. The current Military Mortality Review process builds on the strengths and limitations of important previous work from both the military and civilian sector. To prospectively improve the trauma care system and drive preventable death to the lowest level possible, we present the main misconceptions and lessons learned from our 3-year effort to establish a reliable and sustainable Military Trauma Mortality Review process. These lessons include the following: (1) requirement to use standardized and appropriate lexicon, definitions, and criteria; (2) requirement to use a combination of objective injury scoring systems, forensic information, and thorough SME case review to make injury survivability and death preventability determinations; (3) requirement to use nonmedical information to make reliable death preventability determinations and a comprehensive list of opportunities for improvement to reduce preventable deaths within the trauma care system; and (4) acknowledgment that the military health system still has gaps in current infrastructure that must be addressed to globally and continuously implement the process outlined in the Military Trauma Mortality Review process in the future. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III.
2S Suppl 2
Published In/Presented At
Janak, J. C., Mazuchowski, E. L., Kotwal, R. S., Howard, J. T., Stockinger, Z. T., Gurney, J. M., & Shackelford, S. A. (2020). Establishing an enduring Military Trauma Mortality Review: Misconceptions and lessons learned. The journal of trauma and acute care surgery, 89(2S Suppl 2), S16–S25. https://doi.org/10.1097/TA.0000000000002735
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine