Abbreviated Injury Scale

The Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) is an anatomical-based coding system created by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine to classify and describe the severity of injuries.[1][2][3] It represents the threat to life associated with the injury rather than the comprehensive assessment of the severity of the injury.[4] AIS is one of the most common anatomic scales for traumatic injuries.[5] The first version of the scale was published in 1969[6] with major updates in 1976, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1998, 2005, 2008[7] and 2015[8].


The score describes three aspects of the injury using seven numbers written as 12(34)(56).7[4]

  • Type
  • Location
  • Severity

Each number signifies

  • 1- body region
  • 2- type of anatomical structure
  • 3,4- specific anatomical structure
  • 5,6- level
  • 7- Severity of score
1. Body region
AIS CodeRegion
7Upper Extremity
8Lower Extremity
2. Type of Anatomic Structure
AIS CodeRegion
1Whole Area
4Organs (inc. muscles/ligaments)
5Skeletal (inc. joints)
6Loss of Consciousness (head only)
3/4 Specific Anatomic Structure
Whole Area
AIS CodeRegion
02Skin Abrasion
50Injury - NFS
Head - Loss of Consciousness (LOC)
02Length of loss of consciousness
04-08Level of consciousness
Vessels, Nerves, Organs, Bones, Joints
5/6 Level
Specific Injuries are assigned consecutive two-digit numbers beginning with 02

Fractures, rupture, laceration, etc.


Abbreviated Injury Score-Code is on a scale of one to six, one being a minor injury and six being maximal (currently untreatable).[1] An AIS-Code of 6 is not the arbitrary code for a deceased patient or fatal injury, but the code for injuries specifically assigned an AIS 6 severity.[1] An AIS-Code 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 universally accepted injury aggregation function has not yet been proposed, though the injury severity score and its derivatives are better aggregators for use in clinical settings.[1][5] In other settings such as automotive design and occupant protection, 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 motor vehicle design.[1]

Abbreviated injury Score
AIS-CodeInjuryExampleAIS % prob. of death
1Minorsuperficial laceration0
2Moderatefractured sternum1 – 2
3Seriousopen fracture of humerus8 – 10
4Severeperforated trachea5 – 50
5Criticalruptured liver with tissue loss5 – 50
6Maximumtotal severance of aorta100
9Not further specified (NFS)

See also


  1. Thomas A. Gennarelli, Elaine Wodzin (Hrsg.): The Abbreviated Injury Scale 2005. Update 2008. American Association for Automotive Medicine (AAAM), Des Plaines, IL 2008.
  2. Lesko MM, Woodford M, White L, O'Brien SJ, Childs C, Lecky FE (2010). "Using Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) codes to classify Computed Tomography (CT) features in the Marshall System". BMC Med Res Methodol. 10: 72. doi:10.1186/1471-2288-10-72. PMC 2927606. PMID 20691038.
  3. "Abbreviated Injury Scale". Archived from the original on 6 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-23.
  4. Abbreviated injury scale. University of Chicago: American Association for Automotive Medicine. 1985. p. 80.
  5. Andrew B. Peitzman; Michael Rhodes; C. William Schwab; Donald M. Yealy; Timothy C. Fabian (2002). The Trauma Manual. Hagerstwon, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. 29–30. ISBN 0-7817-2641-7.
  6. John D. States: The Abbreviated and the Comprehensive Research Injury Scales. In: STAPP Car Crash Journal. 13, Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., New York 1969, ISSN 1532-8546, S. 282–294, LCCN 67-22372.
  7. "AAAM's Abbreviated Injury Scale". Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine. Archived from the original on 2014-03-28. Retrieved 2014-03-27.
  8. "AIS 2015 Released". Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine. Retrieved 2016-11-30.
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