Traumatic Shock Alias Posttrauma Critical Illness

Hardaway, Robert M.
March 2000
American Surgeon;Mar2000, Vol. 66 Issue 3, p284
Academic Journal
Trauma is the most common cause of death under the age of 45. Many trauma patients die of multiple organ failure, especially acute respiratory distress syndrome. The basic cause of traumatic shock has only partially been elucidated. Data resources include research papers on the subject of trauma and shock from 1875 to the present. These papers numbered more than 40,000. Almost all of the papers proposed that traumatic shock was due to hypovolemia. The concept of a shock toxin as promulgated during World War I is correct. This toxin is a thrombogenic aminophospholipid that occurs only on the inner layer of all cell membranes and is liberated by cell destruction. It causes disseminated intravascular coagulation, which may obstruct the microcirculation of any and all organs producing multiple organ failure by microclots. These microclots may be lysed by plasminogen activator and circulation to the organs restored.


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