Quantifying the severity of traumatic injury has been foundational for the standardization of outcomes, quality improvement research, and health policy throughout the evolution of trauma care systems. Many injury severity scores are difficult to calculate and implement, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where human resources are limited. The Kampala Trauma Score (KTS)-a simplification of the Trauma Injury Severity Score-was developed in 2000 to accommodate these settings. Since its development, numerous instances of KTS use have been documented, but extent of adoption is unknown. More importantly, does the KTS remain useful for determining injury severity in LMICs? This review aims to better understand the legacy of the KTS and assess its strengths and weaknesses. Three databases were searched to identify scientific papers concerning the KTS. Google Scholar was searched to identify grey literature. The search returned 357 papers, of which 199 met inclusion criteria. Eighty-five studies spanning 16 countries used the KTS in clinical settings. Thirty-seven studies validated the KTS, assessing its ability to predict outcomes such as mortality or need for admission. Over 80% of these studies reported the KTS equalled or exceeded more complicated scores at predicting mortality. The KTS has stood the test of time, proving itself over the last twenty years as an effective measure of injury severity across numerous contexts. We recommend the KTS as a means of strengthening trauma systems in LMICs and suggest it could benefit high-income trauma systems that do not measure injury severity.

Canadian Network For International Surgery
Suite #212 – 1650 Duranleau Street
Vancouver BC  Canada V6H 3S4