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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Preventable morbidity at a mature trauma center.

Teixeira PGR, Inaba K, Salim A, et al. Arch Surg. 2009;144(6):536-541.

Patient safety in trauma poses unique challenges given the acuity of the patients and the need for rapid assessment in delivering life-saving care. This study analyzed more than 2500 complications discussed at morbidity and mortality (M&M) conferences to characterize their preventability and clinical relevance. Investigators discovered that the complications ripe for quality improvement initiatives included unintended extubations, surgical technical failures, missed injuries, and intravascular catheter-related complications. An invited critique [see link below] reflects on the study's findings and points out the challenges in reporting performance data without needed standardization. A past AHRQ WebM&M commentary discussed the systematic assessment of trauma patients in the context of a missed patient injury.