UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Trauma

Title: Can the surprise question predict 1 year mortality in trauma patients?

Keywords: Prediction, surprise question, trauma, mortality (PubMed Search)

Posted: 1/28/2024 by Robert Flint, MD (Updated: 4/13/2024)
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The question “Would I be surprised if the patient died within the next year”  has been validated as a tool to predict patients with a limited life expectancy. This study looked at trauma team members’ ability to use this question to predict one year mortality. Trauma team members over estimated mortality in this study.


Hoffman, Melissa Red MD, ND; Slivinski, Andrea DNP, APRN; Shen, Yan PhD; Watts, Dorraine D. PhD; Wyse, Ransom J. MPH; Garland, Jeneva M. PharmD; Fakhry, Samir M. MD, FACS;  the Surprise Question in Trauma Research Group. Would you be surprised? Prospective multicenter study of the Surprise Question as a screening tool to predict mortality in trauma patients. Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 96(1):p 35-43, January 2024. | DOI: 10.1097/TA.0000000000004151