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    Patent Pending

    Injury Severity Score (ISS)

    Standardizes severity of traumatic injury based on worst injury of 6 body systems.

    INSTRUCTIONS

    Rate only the most severe injury from each body system. Used primarily in research settings, so calculation of the ISS should not delay initial management of patients with traumatic injuries.

    When to Use
    Pearls/Pitfalls
    Why Use

    • The ISS is a score that attempts to standardize the severity of injuries sustained during a trauma.

    • This standardization allows one to more accurately study and predict morbidity and mortality outcomes after traumatic injuries.

    • Initially derived in patients with blunt traumatic injury from motor vehicle accidents only.

    • The ISS is not intended to be used for bedside decisions regarding a single patient in the emergency department setting, but rather as a tool to standardize the study of trauma patients.

    • Due to the nature of the score, multiple combinations of Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) scores may arrive at the same ISS, each of which may indicate a different mortality rate. For example, an ISS of 17 can be made from patients with a combination of points based on the three most severe injuries, such as (4, 1, 0) or (3, 2, 2). The ISS also gives equal importance to each body region.

    • Patients with an AIS of 6 in any body system are automatically assigned an ISS of 75, the maximum possible score.

    Due to the heterogeneous nature of trauma patients, standardizing severity of traumatic injury allows for much larger sample populations in trauma research studies.

    No injury
    Minor
    Moderate
    Serious
    Severe
    Critical
    Unsurvivable
    No injury
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    Unsurvivable
    No injury
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    Moderate
    Serious
    Severe
    Critical
    Unsurvivable
    No injury
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    Moderate
    Serious
    Severe
    Critical
    Unsurvivable
    No injury
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    Moderate
    Serious
    Severe
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    Unsurvivable
    No injury
    Minor
    Moderate
    Serious
    Severe
    Critical
    Unsurvivable

    Result:

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    Next Steps
    Evidence
    Creator Insights
    Dr. Susan Baker

    About the Creator

    Susan Baker, MPH, is an professor and epidemiologist specializing in injury prevention at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and was the first director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy. She is well known for authoring the Injury Fact Book. Professor Baker's teaching and research is aimed at influencing policy changes that will reduce the likelihood of injury for thousands of people.

    To view Dr. Susan Baker's publications, visit PubMed

    Are you Dr. Susan Baker? Send us a message to review your photo and bio, and find out how to submit Creator Insights!
    MDCalc loves calculator creators – researchers who, through intelligent and often complex methods, discover tools that describe scientific facts that can then be applied in practice. These are real scientific discoveries about the nature of the human body, which can be invaluable to physicians taking care of patients.
    Content Contributors
    • Max Berger, MD
    Reviewed By
    • Alexandra Ortego, MD
    About the Creator
    Dr. Susan Baker
    Are you Dr. Susan Baker?
    Partner Content
    Content Contributors
    • Max Berger, MD
    Reviewed By
    • Alexandra Ortego, MD