Prehospital characteristics that identify major trauma patients: A hybrid systematic review study protocol
Background: International evidence has consistently demonstrated significant improvements both in the trauma care process and outcomes for patients through re-configuring care services from that which is fragmented to integrated trauma networks. A backbone of any trauma network is a trauma triage tool. This is necessary to support paramedic staff in identifying major trauma patients based on prehospital characteristics. However, there is no consensus on an optimal triage tool and with that, no consensus on the minimum criteria for prehospital identification of major trauma.
Objective: Examine the prehospital characteristics applied in the international literature to identify major trauma patients.
Methods: To ensure the systematic review is both as comprehensive and complete as possible, we will apply a hybrid overview of reviews approach in accordance with best practice guidelines. Searches will be conducted in Pubmed (Ovid MEDLINE), Embase, Cochrane Library of Systematic Reviews and Cochrane Central Register of Clinical Trials. We will search for papers that analyse prehospital characteristics applied in trauma triage tools that identify major trauma patients. These papers will be all systematic reviews in the area, not limited by year of publication, supplemented with an updated search of original papers from November 2019. Duplication screening of all articles will be conducted by two reviewers and a third reviewer to arbitrate disputes. Data will be extracted using a pre-defined data extraction form, and quality appraised by the Newcastle Ottawa Quality Assessment form.
Conclusions: An exhaustive search for both systematic reviews and original papers will identify the range of tools developed in the international literature and, importantly, the prehospital characteristics that have been applied to identify major trauma patients. The findings of this review will inform the development of a national clinical prediction rule for triage of major trauma patients.