The purpose of Coding Injuries is to collect and code injury data (according to the Abbreviated Injury Scale) and perform injury mechanism analysis – to classify accidents by medical injury severity and allow analysis on the potential for injury reduction.
When coding injuries, it is important to note Police recorded injury severity for each road user involved. Each investigation team should be familiar with the methodology used by the Police to assign the severity to the victims (i.e. if the report is limited to a statement that the road user taken to hospital or if the reporting is more detailed).
Furthermore, accident investigators should attempt, with permission, to collect medical records from hospitals or other appropriate sources (e.g. pathologist or doctors) and describe the injuries.
Investigators should follow all necessary ethical and data protection procedures in the acquisition, processing and storage of any information on paper and electronic data.
The injuries should be coded according to the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) 2005 (update 2008) manual by trained personnel. It should be noted that certified training can be provided only by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM) directly.
Once coded, investigators should complete a case by case analysis of the possible mechanisms or causes of injuries.
Database entries are to be made fully anonymous, without any personal names, addresses or vehicle registration numbers included.
Please refer to the Medical Data section of the main Equipment List for the Coding Injuries equipment list.
Ethical approval may be required in some circumstances.
Consent forms to obtain medical records including routines on how to send and receive these forms should be prepared.
Agreement with local hospitals to access medical records should also be obtained.
Please note: the DaCoTA training programme will cover the collection and basic description of injuries, but will not be able to provide authorised AIS training. Additionally, it is recommended that at least one investigator from each team receive official AIS training. The only authorized training organisation is the AAAM, although there are outside AAAM consultants that offer AIS training.