General AIS FAQs

How do I cite the AIS Dictionary?

The AIS Dictionaries should be cited in APA format as shown:

Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine. (2016). Abbreviated Injury Scale (c) 2005 Update 2008. (T. Gennarelli, & e. Woodzin, Eds.) Chicago, Illinois.

Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine. (2018). Abbreviated Injury Scale: 2015 Revision (6 ed.). Chicago, IL.

AAAM would like to have a copy of all publications which cite AIS.  The copies will be kept within the organization’s electronic library.

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Is AIS supported by data transfer and interoperability standards?

Yes, one example is AIS existence in LOINC (Regenstrief Institute – LOINC is a common language (set of identifiers, names, and codes) for identifying health measurements, observations, and documents.  LOINC is free and reference labs, healthcare organizations, U.S. federal agencies, insurance companies, software vendors, in vitro diagnostic testing companies and others use it to move data seamlessly between systems.

LOINC supports an AIS instrumentation schema for data transfer and data interoperability.  There’s a one-panel definition with 3 sub panel definitions.  These definitions are unique to LOINC but could be generalized for a similar purpose:

76067-8 LOINC panel

75890-4 Abbreviated Injury Scale predot

75891-2 Abbreviated Injury Scale severity score

76066-0 Abbreviated Injury Scale version code

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Should I update from AIS 2008 to AIS 2015?

User community feedback drove a significant number of the changes seen in AIS 2015.  The AIS dictionary has changed from landscape to portrait format and the amount of information for each line of AIS code was reduced to improve the ease of use for the coder.  Many areas that were reported to be confusing or difficult to code in AIS 2008 were addressed.  A significant number of injury descriptors were refined to better describe threat to life and impairment, and coding rules and guidelines were clarified or expanded to promote intercoder reliability.  Injury descriptors for combat injuries were also included.  Wherever possible any injury severity assignment changes were based upon available research evidence.

More specifically, the Head chapter includes a simplified method for coding diffuse axonal injury (DAI) as well as changes in coding other diffuse brain injuries. There is now a finer discrimination between loss of consciousness (LOC) and coma for patients with concussive type injuries.  In the Face chapter 36 eye injury descriptors were removed because the fine level of discrimination they provided was rarely available in the medical documentation for coders.  In the Abdomen chapter codes were added to more closely align with Organ Injury Scale (OIS) values developed by the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma.  The Spine chapter was significantly revised in structure and in the level of injury specificity.  The American Spinal Cord Injury Association (ASIA) Impairment scale has been included in the descriptors as a guide to assist in coding spinal cord injury deficit.  The Extremity chapters have several new codes to preserve the capability of accurately coding injuries when less detail is available, as well as to better address closed degloving injuries and joint injuries.  Heat-related injuries are now included in the Other Trauma section.  This is not an exhaustive list of the changes but merely highlights some of the more important ones.

Perhaps one of the most significant improvements in AIS 2015 is the inclusion of comprehensive mapping between AIS 2008 and AIS 2015, making the merging or conversion of data from one version to the other simple, complete and universally standardized.

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Where can I buy AIS products?

AAAM has developed the AIS printed and electronic manuals, which have been designed for coders and are available separately. These can be purchased via the AAAM online store.

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What is AIS?

The Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) is an anatomy-based coding system created to classify and describe the severity of injuries. It represents an assessment of the severity of injury including the threat to life associated with the injury.  AIS is one of the most common anatomic scales for traumatic injuries.  AIS consists of a single coding dictionary.  The first version of the scale was published in 1969 with major revisions or updates in 1976, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1998, 2005, 2008, and 2015.

The AIS codes three aspects of injury: type, location and severity.   The AIS severity has a scale of 1 to 6, one being a minor injury and six being maximal.  An AIS severity of 6 is not the arbitrary code for a deceased patient or fatal injury, but is used only for specific injuries assigned an AIS 6 severity.  An AIS severity of 9 is used to describe injuries for which not enough information is available for more detailed coding, e.g. crush injury to the head.

The AIS scale is a measurement tool for single injuries.  A well accepted injury aggregation function is the Injury Severity Score (ISS).  It has several derivatives that have unique applications.  In other settings such as system design and occupant protection, maximum AIS (MAIS) is a useful tool for the comparison of specific injuries and their relative severity, and the changes in those frequencies that may result from evolving system design.

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How do I map ICD-9 to AIS or ICD-10 to AIS?

The ICD-9-CM to AIS08 and ICD-10-CM to AIS08 electronic translators is available from AAAM.  See ICDMap FAQ for more information.

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Where can I learn more about AIS and how it is used?

AAAM operates an in-depth AIS educational program – it is available across the globe to provide in-person training for classroom use as well as Internet-based classes.

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Is there a digital version of AIS?

Digital versions of AIS are available on the AAAM web site.  Coming Soon.

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How can I translate AIS into my local language?

AIS 2008 is available in the four languages (English, Japanese, French and Spanish) in print. The latest version, AIS 2015, is only available in English.   For non-English versions or language requests, please contact AAAM US office in Chicago.

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What types of licenses are available from AAAM and how do I apply for a license?

AAAM is able to grant licenses to companies/organizations for the right to use AIS for commercial, non-commercial/research and internal purposes.

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Licensing AIS codes for commercial use

AAAM is able to issue commercial licenses to companies wishing to incorporate and distribute AIS codes in their software products for sale to customers in specific countries.

  • The license is non-exclusive, non-transferable and time
  • The license authorizes the use of the codes and descriptions in a product that will be distributed to customers in specific
  • Licensees are not permitted to modify, translate or amend the codes or descriptions in any
  • There should be no suggestion of endorsement of the product or the company by

Companies wishing to obtain a commercial license are asked to complete the following license application <pdf> so that the proposed use of the AIS codes and the type of product are evaluated.

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Licensing AIS codes for internal use within your organization

AAAM is able to issue internal licenses to organizations wishing to incorporate AIS codes into their internal information systems for use by employees for use for administrative purposes e.g. health records management.

Companies wishing to obtain an internal license are asked to provide the following information and send this to

  • Name and address of
  • Email address and telephone number of the primary contact.
  • Name and job title of person signing the
  • Name of the organization’s information system in which AIS will be incorporated
  • A short summary of the intended use of AIS codes within your organization’s information systems. Please include a selection of screen shots from the product that illustrate how AIS codes are used in the This information will not be used by AAAM for any purpose other than compiling data on the use of AIS codes and shall not be transmitted outside of AAAM.

Number of concurrent users accessing AIS codes within the organization.

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Licensing AIS codes for non-commercial use

If your organization is planning to use AIS codes for non-commercial or research purposes, then you may qualify for a license for non-commercial research use.

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Are there any national modifications of AIS?

No modification of AIS is endorsed by AAAM; AAAM is not responsible for any external modification of the dictionary.  AAAM does not license the AIS dictionary for modification.

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Can I sell my product that contains AIS to the public and private sectors?

No organization or agency outside of AAAM can issue AIS licenses to suppliers to the public or non-public sector.  If you intend to sell your product that contains AIS copyrighted material, then you will require a license from AAAM.

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