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August 1989

The Impact of In-House Surgeons and Operating Room Resuscitation on Outcome of Traumatic Injuries

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma, University of California, San Diego.

Arch Surg. 1989;124(8):906-910. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1989.01410080036005

• As trauma systems develop, more patients can potentially benefit from immediate surgery. With in-house surgeons available, enthusiasm for direct transfer from the scene to the operating room (OR) has developed in many institutions. The purpose of this study was to define precisely which patients should be taken to the OR for resuscitation. Three hundred twenty-three patients were taken to the OR directly from the field during a 4-year period (6.9% of trauma activations). Indications included the following: (1) cardiac arrest—one vital sign present, (2) persistent hypotension despite field intravenous fluid, and (3) uncontrolled external hemorrhage. A board-certified surgeon and resuscitation team met the field transport team in the OR in all cases. Cardiopulmonary recuscitation for patients with blunt trauma was not accompanied by survival even with immediate surgery by a trained surgeon and it wastes valuable OR resources. Patients with prehospital hypotension unresponsive to fluid resuscitation indicate the need for rapid surgery. Patients with blunt injuries even with hypotension infrequently undergo operations in less than 20 minutes and can be resuscitated in traditional areas where better roentgenograms are obtained. Penetrating injuries to the chest and abdomen with hypotension are the primary indications for OR resuscitation. It can be anticipated with field communication and accompanied by enhanced survival.

(Arch Surg. 1989;124:906-910)

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