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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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The usefulness of a trauma probability of survival model for forensic life-threatening danger assessments

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Clinical forensic medical examinations constitute an increasing proportion of our institution's tasks, and, concomitantly, the authorities are now requesting forensic life-threatening danger assessments based on our examinations. The aim of this retrospective study was to assess if a probability of survival (PS) trauma score could be useful for these forensic life-threatening danger assessments and to identify a cut-off PS score as a supporting tool for the forensic practice of assessing life-threatening danger. We compared a forensic database and a trauma database and identified 161 individuals (aged 15 years or older) who had both a forensic life-threatening danger assessment and a PS score. The life-threatening danger assessments comprised the following statements: was not in life-threatening danger (NLD); could have been in life-threatening danger (CLD); or was in life-threatening danger (LD). The inclusion period was 2012-2016. A statistically significant difference was found in the PS scores between NLD, CLD and LD (chi-square test: p < 0.0001). The usefulness of the PS score for categorizing life-threatening danger assessments was determined by a receiver-operator characteristic (ROC) curve. The area under the curve was 0.76 (95% CI, 0.69 to 0.84) and the ROC curve revealed that a cut-off PS score of 95.8 would appropriately identify LD. Therefore, a PS score below 95.8 would indicate life-threatening danger. We propose a further exploration of how the evidence-based PS score, including a cut-off value, might be implemented in clinical forensic medical statements to add to the scientific strength of these statements.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Legal Medicine (Print)
Volume135
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)871-877
Number of pages7
ISSN0937-9827
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

    Research areas

  • AUC-ROC, Clinical forensic medicine, Life-threatening danger assessment, Objective injury severity, Penetrating injury

ID: 61678166