Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

Living Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Abbreviated Injury Scale

  • Edison Wong
  • Richard KunzEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-56782-2_2-3



The Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) is an anatomical scoring system first introduced in 1969. It has been revised and updated against survival data so that it now provides a reasonably accurate way of ranking the severity of injury.

Injuries are ranked on a scale of 1–6, with 1 being minor, 5 severe, and 6 representing an unsurvivable injury (Table 1). This represents the “threat to life” associated with an injury and is not meant to represent a comprehensive measure of severity. An additional code of AIS9 is used to indicate an injury for which more detailed coding is not possible due to lack of information. The AIS is not a linear scale, in that the difference between AIS1 and AIS2 is not the same as that between AIS4 and AIS5. Organ Injury Scales of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma are mapped to the AIS score for calculation of the Injury Severity Score.
Table 1

AIS scores and their definition of injury severity

AIS score














Current Knowledge

The latest incarnation of the AIS score is the 2008 update. AIS is monitored by a scaling committee of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine and has been adopted by the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma since its publication in the Journal of Trauma in 1985.

References and Readings

  1. Copes, W. S., Sacco, W. J., Champion, H. R., & Bain, L. W. (1989). Progress in characterizing anatomic injury. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (pp. 205–218), Baltimore, 2–4 Oct 1989.Google Scholar
  2. Gennarelli, T. A., Wodzin, E., & Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine. (2008). The abbreviated injury scale 2005. Update 2008. Des Plaines: American Association for Automotive Medicine (AAAM).Google Scholar
  3. Greenspan, L., McClellan, B. A., & Greig, H. (1985). Abbreviated injury scale and injury severity score: A scoring chart. The Journal of Trauma, 25, 60–64.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Peitzman, A. B., Rhodes, M., Schwab, C. W., Yealy, D. M., & Fabian, T. C. (2002). The trauma manual (pp. 29–30). Hagerstown: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar
  5. Yentis, S. M., Hirsch, N. P., & Smith, G. B. (2004). Anaesthesia and intensive care A–Z. New York: Butterworth & Heinemann.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physical Medicine & RehabilitationVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  2. 2.Center for Pain and Medical RehabilitationFitchburgUSA