Evolution of the Abbreviated Injury Scale: 1990-2015

Traffic Injury Prevention
Kathryn L LoftisPatrick J Gillich


Although the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) was initially developed in the mid-1960s for tracking injury in automotive and aircraft crashes, it has grown to become an internationally recognized scoring system for a variety of traumatic injuries. This shift in focus and advances in organized medical care, combined with feedback from field use and outcome analysis, have resulted in several AIS updates and revisions. This article demonstrates how AIS codes and severities have changed over the last 25 years and investigates the effects of those changes. Data from each version and update of the AIS dictionary (AIS 1990, AIS 1998, AIS 2005, AIS 2008, and AIS 2015) were analyzed for changes and shifts in injury descriptions, severities, and code counts. The number of AIS codes has increased to improve coding specificity and reliability for a growing number of injury types. There has also been a shift in severities, mainly within the moderate (AIS 2) to severe (AIS 4) range. AIS 1990 was the first version to utilize the 6-digit predot identifier, to add modifiers for pediatric injury, and to substantially expand brain injury codes. AIS 1998 added coding rules and guidelines throughout the dictionary and integrated the Organ Injury Scal...Continue Reading


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Brain Injury & Trauma

brain injury after impact to the head is due to both immediate mechanical effects and delayed responses of neural tissues.