An evidence based Definition of Polytrauma was developed by members of the Polytrauma section as follows:
The term ‘polytrauma’ was first used by Tscherne et al. in 1966 for patients that demonstrated a combination of at least 2 ‘severe injuries of the head, chest or abdomen’ or ‘one of them in association with an extremity injury’ In 1975, Border et al. defined the ‘polytrauma’ patient “as any patient with two or more significant injuries”. Oestern et al. then distinguished the entity ‘polytrauma’ as ‘a patient with two or more injuries, one of them being potentially life threatening’ from `isolated, but potentially life threatening injuries`, for which he coined the term ‘barytrauma’.
To address the lack of an evidence based definition, a group of experts met in a series of scientific sessions and meetings. These were held under the auspices of several societies; European Society for Trauma and Emergency Surgery (ESTES), German Trauma Society (DGU), British Trauma Society (BTS), American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST), New Zealand Association for the Surgery of Trauma (ANZAST) The consensus was reached following a number of quality management measures, such as a preparative literature review, multiple in person meetings, and evaluation of data using data from 28.211 polytraumatized patients. The ensuing parameters consisted of five pathologic conditions and ancillary parameters to describe a multiply injured patient.
The definition of polytrauma revisited: An international consensus process and proposal of the new ‘Berlin definition’ Pape HC, Lefering R, Butcher N, Peitzman A, Leenen L, Marzi I, Lichte P, Josten C, Bouillon B, Schmucker U, Stahel P, Giannoudis P, Balogh Z. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2014 Nov;77(5):780-786.