The concept of scoring systems for trauma is relatively new. Triage systems were first developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Increased organization of trauma systems since that time has emphasized the importance of getting the right patient to the right hospital at the right time and has resulted in continued interest in triage systems. Increased organization has also spurred interest in sophisticated scoring systems for quantifying expected outcomes, assessing results of trauma care, and comparing large groups of patients. Ubiquitous use of acronyms for the different systems and the sometimes complex statistics on which they are based can make trauma scoring systems seem dauntingly complex.
There are many potential uses of trauma scoring systems.1 Field triage of patients to appropriate levels of care has already been mentioned. Quantifiable systems can also be used for quality assurance. Large groups of patients can be screened for unexpected outcomes, and