Using Ambulance Service Data for Road Trauma Surveillance

Author(s): Jeffrey R Brubacher, MD, MSc., Herbert Chan, PhD., Julie Wei, Randy Slemko

Slidedeck Presentation:

1A Brubacher_Using Ambulance Service Data for Road Trauma Surveillance


Accurate counts of the number, severity, and specific location of road traffic crashes is
important for guiding traffic policy. Most road traffic injury surveillance is based on police
reported crashes or hospital admission data. However, police only attend a small portion of all
crashes and often have incomplete information on injury severity. Most injured drivers who visit
a hospital after a crash are treated and released from the emergency department without being
admitted to hospital. Therefore, road traffic data based on police reports and/or hospital
admissions likely underestimate the number of injuries. The majority of injury crashes are
attended by paramedics. This suggests that ambulance service data may be useful for road
trauma surveillance.