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Guide to Statistics and Methods
September 2018

Practical Guide to Surgical Data Sets: National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB)

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Surgery and Public Health, Harvard Medical School, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Department of Surgery, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Surgery, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 3Department of Emergency Medicine, Harbor-University of California–Los Angeles Medical Center, Torrance
  • 4Statistical Editor, JAMA Surgery
  • 5Department of Surgery, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 6American College of Surgeons, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA Surg. 2018;153(9):852-853. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2018.0483

Trauma remains a leading cause of death and disability and accounts for a substantial portion of health care expenditures.1 Therefore, research to improve trauma care is a leading public health priority.

Spearheading this effort, the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma coordinated a landmark multi-institutional endeavor, the Major Trauma Outcomes Study.2 On its completion in 1989, the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma recognized the importance of national trauma data aggregation to inform quality improvement. In 1997, it formed a subcommittee to develop the National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB), a standardized collection of national trauma data (Box). Today, to our knowledge, the NTDB is the world’s largest trauma data repository, with more than 7.5 million electronic records from more than 900 trauma centers.

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