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January 11, 1971

Rating the Severity of Tissue Damage: I. The Abbreviated Scale

JAMA. 1971;215(2):277-280. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03180150059012

To provide researchers with an accurate method for rating and comparing injuries received in automotive crashes and, at the same time, to standardize language used to describe the injuries, the AMA Committee on Medical Aspects of Automotive Safety is developing a comprehensive rating system for tissue damage. This system, designed primarily for physicians and other researchers who investigate automotive crash injuries, has potential use in many types of research, including that related to ambulance care, hospital emergency rooms, and utilization studies.

Information about the system is being published to interest physicians in accident investigation, and to inform them of the value of medical data obtainable from such investigation. For instance, development of the collapsible steering shaft, which has resulted in a saving of hundreds of lives, came about because investigation revealed a large number of chest injuries among injured and dead crash victims each year. This is not a plea