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Errors in adult trauma resuscitation: a systematic review.

CJEM 2021 July
INTRODUCTION: Trauma resuscitation at dedicated trauma centers typically consist of ad-hoc teams performing critical tasks in a time-limited manner. This creates a high stakes environment apt or avoidable errors. Reporting of errors in trauma resuscitation is generally center-dependent and lacks common terminology.

METHODS: We conducted a systematic review by searching Ovid Medline, Scopus and Embase from inception to February 24, 2021 for errors in adult trauma resuscitation. English studies published after 2001 were included. Studies were assessed by two independent reviewers for meeting inclusion/exclusion criteria. Errors were characterized from the included studies and a summary table was developed. Our review was prospectively registered with the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) (CRD42020152875).

RESULTS: The literature search retrieved 4658 articles with 26 meeting eligibility criteria. Errors were identified by morbidity and mortality rounds or other committee in 62%, missed injuries on tertiary assessment or radiology review in 12%, deviations from algorithmic guidelines in 12% or predefined for chest tube complications, critical incident reporting, aspiration or delays in care. In total there were 39 unique error types identified and divided into 9 categories including Emergency Medical Services handover, airway, assessment of injuries, patient monitoring and access, transfusion/blood related, management of injuries, team communication/dynamics, procedure error and disposition.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our systematic review identified 39 unique error types in trauma resuscitation. Identifying these errors is imperative in developing systems for improvement of trauma care.

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