Keywords: trauma, unstable, intubation, arrest, resuscitate (PubMed Search)
At this month’s Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma annual meeting there was a presentation asserting that hemodynamically unstable trauma patients have worse outcomes when intubated in the emergency department vs the operating room. This was not a study diminishing the intubating skills of EM providers but a look at the fact that hemorrhaging patients will crash after intubation and if they are not in a position for immediate surgical intervention they will die. The loss of sympathetic tone, positive inter-thoracic pressure, loss of muscle tone as well as the agents used all contribute to peri-intubation arrest. This month’s EmCrit episode tackled this topic as well.
Synthesizing all of the opinion and literature regarding hemodynamically unstable trauma patients requiring operative intervention the take home points are:
Much of this is counter to historical teaching of early airway management on ED arrival. It certainly fits with recent literature supporting resuscitation prior to airway management whenever feasible.
EMCrit – Ghali Grills 2 – Should You Tube the Patient in Severe Hemorrhagic Shock if there is a Delay to OR?
January 21, 2023 by Scott Weingart, MD FCCM