Emergency Room Thoracotomy: Updated Guidelines for a Level I Trauma Center

Ladd, Alan P.; Gomez, Gerardo A.; Jacobson, Lewis E.; Broadie, Thomas A.; Scherer III, L.R.; Solotkin, Kathleen C.
May 2002
American Surgeon;May2002, Vol. 68 Issue 5, p421
Academic Journal
The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether 1995 study conclusions influenced patient selection and subsequent survival and whether indications for emergency room thoracotomy (ERT) could be further limited on the basis of patient physiologic status. A retrospective review of patient demographics, physiologic status both at the scene and on arrival to the emergency room (ER), and survival was performed on those who underwent ERT from July 1995 to December 1999. Sixty-five patients underwent ERT for sustained gunshot wounds and 14 patients for stab wounds. There were no survivors from Class I or II at the scene or Class I on presentation to the ER. Although there was a significant decrease in patients of Class I at the scene (27% vs 8%) and in the ER (58.3% vs 35.4%) the overall survival rate remained the same (2.6%). ERT could be eliminated for patients of Class I or II at the scene and for those of Class I on arrival to the ER without negating survivors; survival would improve to 16.2 per cent.


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