About AIS

The Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS©) incorporates current medical terminology providing an internationally accepted tool for ranking injury severity. AIS is an anatomically based, consensus derived, global severity scoring system that classifies an individual injury by body region according to its relative severity on a 6 point scale (1=minor and 6=maximal). AIS is the basis for the Injury Severity Score (ISS) calculation of the multiply injured patient. The AIS© 2005 Update 2008 and AIS© 2015 is protected by copyright, and both individual use and site licenses can be purchased.

The AIS provides standardized terminology to describe injuries and ranks injuries by severity. Current AIS users include, health organizations for clinical trauma management, outcome evaluation and for case mix adjustment purposes; motor vehicle crash investigators to identify mechanism of injury and improve vehicle design; and researchers for epidemiological studies and systems development, all of which may influence public policy (laws and regulations).

Some users are interested in its standardized injury descriptor capabilities; some are interested only in its injury severity assessment; and some in both. The AIS Uses and Techniques course allows people to learn how to correctly code injuries according to established rules and guidelines, which increases interrater reliability worldwide.

Health and research records of all types may be coded in a prospective manner. AIS codes may be assigned using algorithms that map other commonly used disease and injury codes — such as the WHO-originated International Classification of Diseases. Some of these maps have been programmed into trauma registry and medical record software, and may be proprietary tools. Some others have been made available by the original developers.

The AIS has been continuously improved since its inception. The AIS© 2005 Update 2008, represents a five-year revision process involving hundreds of contributors in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and numerous European countries. The AIS 2005 Update 2008 is significant in its total restructuring of injury classifications for both upper and lower extremities, and the pelvis, body regions that are significant in nonfatal long-term impairment and disability. Click here for additional guidelines for correct coding using AIS 2005 Update 2008.

Questions? Email kcookman@aaam.org.