Preventable deaths in hospitalized trauma patients

David O. Alao, Arif Alper Cevik, Fayez Al Shamsi, Hussam Mousa, Sherif Elnikety, Mahmoud Benour, Ghada S.M. Al-Bluwi, Fikri M. Abu-Zidan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To study the preventable trauma deaths of hospitalized patients in the United Arab Emirates and to identify opportunities for improvement. Methods: We analyzed the Abu Dhabi Emirate Trauma Registry data of admitted patients who died in the emergency department or in hospital from 2014 to 2019. A panel of experts categorize the deaths into not preventable (NP), potentially preventable (PP), and definitely preventable (DP). Results: A total of 405 deaths were included, and 82.7% were males. The majority (89.1%) were NP, occurring mainly in the emergency department (40.4%) and the intensive care unit (49.9%). The combined potentially preventable and preventable death rate was 10.9%. The median (Interquartile range) age of the DP was 57.5 (37–76) years, compared with 32 (24–42) and 34 (25–55) years for NP and PP, respectively (p = 0.008). Most of the PP deaths occurred in the intensive care unit (55.6%), while the DP occurred mainly in the ward (50%). Falls accounted for 25% of PP and DP. Deficiencies in airway care, hemorrhage control, and fluid management were identified in 25%, 43.2% and 29.5% of the DP/PP deaths, respectively. Seventy-two percent of the Airway deficiencies occurred in the prehospital, while 34.1% of hemorrhage control deficiencies were in the emergency department. Fluid management deficiencies occurred in the emergency department and the operation theater. Conclusions: DP and PP deaths comprised 10.9% of the deaths. Most of the DP occurred in the emergency department and ward. Prehospital Airway and in-hospital hemorrhage and excessive fluid were the main areas for opportunities for improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)863-870
Number of pages8
JournalWorld Journal of Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


  • opportunities for improvement
  • preventability
  • trauma deaths

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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