Defining adverse events during trauma resuscitation: A modified RAND Delphi study

Brodie Nolan, Andrew Petrosoniak, Christopher M. Hicks, Michael W. Cripps, Ryan P. Dumas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background The majority of preventable adverse event (AEs) in trauma care occur during the initial phase of resuscitation, often within the trauma bay. However, there is significant heterogeneity in reporting these AEs that limits performance comparisons between hospitals and trauma systems. The objective of this study was to create a taxonomy of AEs that occur during trauma resuscitation and a corresponding classification system to assign a degree of harm. Methods This study used a modified RAND Delphi methodology to establish a taxonomy of AEs in trauma and a degree of harm classification system. A systematic review informed the preliminary list of AEs. An interdisciplinary panel of 22 trauma experts rated these AEs through two rounds of online surveys and a final consensus meeting. Consensus was defined as 80% for each AE and the final checklist. Results The Delphi panel consisted of 22 multidisciplinary trauma experts. A list of 57 evidence-informed AEs was revised and expanded during the modified Delphi process into a finalized list of 67 AEs. Each AE was classified based on degree of harm on a scale from I (no harm) to V (death). Discussion This study developed a taxonomy of 67 AEs that occur during the initial phases of a trauma resuscitation with a corresponding degree of harm classification. This taxonomy serves to support a standardized evaluation of trauma care between centers and regions. Level of evidence Level 5.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere000805
JournalTrauma Surgery and Acute Care Open
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 19 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Delphi
  • Multiple trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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