Trauma Attending in the Resuscitation Room: Does It Affect Outcome?

Porter, John M.; Ursic, Caesar
July 2001
American Surgeon;Jul2001, Vol. 67 Issue 7, p611
Academic Journal
Although there are no Class I data supporting the regionalization of trauma care the consensus is that trauma centers decrease morbidity and mortality. However, the controversy continues over whether trauma surgeons should be in-house or take call from home. The current literature does not answer the question because in all of the recent studies the attendings who took call from home were in the resuscitation room guiding the care. We believe the correct question is: Does the presence of the trauma attending in the resuscitation room make a difference? At a university-affiliated Level II trauma center data from the trauma registry, resuscitation room flowsheet, and dictated admission notes were reviewed on all patients over a 6-month period. Data points were: attending present in the resuscitation room, standard demographics, resuscitation room time, time to operating room (OR), time to CT scan, length of stay, complications, and mortality. A total of 943 patients were studied with 216 (23%) having the attending present in the resuscitation room and 727 (77%) without the attending present. The groups were similar in terms of age, sex, Injury Severity Score, percentage Injury Severity Score greater than 15 (16--17.1%), and mechanism of injury (24-29% penetrating). Of all the data points studied only time to the OR had a statistically significance difference (P < 0.05) with it taking 43.8 minutes (+/- 20.1) when the attending was present and 109.4 minutes (+/- 107) when the attending was absent. There were also no missed injuries, delays to the OR, or inappropriate workups when the attendings were present. Only the time to the OR reached statistical significance. The time to the OR is indicative of the decision-making process in the resuscitation room, and it is in this area that the attendings' presence is the most useful. Also, we believe that it is important that there were no missed injuries, delays to the OR, or inappropriate workups when the attending...


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