UMEM Educational Pearls - By Robert Flint

Category: Trauma

Title: Geriatric vs. Super-geriatric Trauma

Keywords: Geriatric, older person, trauma, super-geriatric (PubMed Search)

Posted: 11/23/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Updated: 6/17/2024)
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

This retrospective study looked at trauma patients over age 65 and divided them into age ranges 65-80 (geriatric) and 80 plus (super-geriatric). They then looked at mechanusm of injury, mortality, interventions,etc. What they found was ages 65-80 were more likely to be injured in motor vehicle crashes vs. falls for those over 80. Those over 80 received less interventions including hemmorhage control surgery and had much higher levels of withdrawal of care. 

This study highlights that the geriatric population is not as a monolithic group over age 65, but more nuanced by various age ranges over 65. Research going forward should be adjusted to these nuanced age ranges. Out treatment approaches should be adjusted in geriatric vs. super-geriatric patients as well. 

Show References



Category: Trauma

Title: Use of reverse shock index times GCS to predict Peds trauma needs

Keywords: Reverse shock index, Peds trauma, prediction (PubMed Search)

Posted: 11/18/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Emailed: 11/19/2023)
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

This small study suggests using reverse shock index times the Glasgow Comma Scake score may give a prognostication on pediatric trauma severity and resource utilization. 
 

Show References



Category: Trauma

Title: Ketamine, ICP and pediatric brain injury

Keywords: Brain injury, ketamine ICP (PubMed Search)

Posted: 11/12/2023 by Robert Flint, MD
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

This pediatric ICU study measured ICP during and after ketamine infusion.  There was no increase in ICP associated with the ketamine infusion. This small study adds to the data that ketamine is safe in pediatric brain injured patients. 

Show References



Category: Trauma

Title: ECMO in Trauma

Keywords: ECMO, Trauma, Survivial (PubMed Search)

Posted: 10/14/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Emailed: 11/4/2023) (Updated: 6/17/2024)
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

This systematic review and analysis found in 1822 trauma patients treated with ECMO:

-Overall 66% survival to discharge

-VV ECMO was significantly superior to VA ECMO

-Mean age was 35 years. Typical of ECMO use in trauma is younger healthier patients are chosen to receive ECMO

 

“ECMO is not a routine life-saving intervention following trauma, but rather a salvage therapy that effectively replaces conventional treatment for young, healthy patients when conventional methods fail. Its complexity requires a multidisciplinary healthcare team and sufficient resources for optimal implementation.”

 

Show References



Category: Trauma

Title: Does empiric high dose cryoprecipitate added to MHP improve survival?

Keywords: transfusion, mass hemorrhage protocol, cryoprecipitate (PubMed Search)

Posted: 10/14/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Emailed: 10/29/2023) (Updated: 6/17/2024)
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

This large UK and US study looked at the addition of high dose cryoprecipitate to mass transfusion protocols and found:  “Among patients with trauma and bleeding who required activation of a major hemorrhage protocol, the addition of early and empirical high-dose cryoprecipitate to standard care did not improve all cause 28-day mortality.”

Show References



Category: Trauma

Title: Challenges of resuscitation in pediatric trauma

Keywords: trauma, pediatrics, resuscitation, MTP, MHP (PubMed Search)

Posted: 10/14/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Emailed: 10/22/2023) (Updated: 6/17/2024)
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

This excellent review article discussing damage control resuscitation in traumatically injured children highlights several points including:

 

-”Damage-control resuscitation (DCR) consists of rapid control of bleeding, avoidance of hemodilution, acidosis, and hypothermia; early empiric balanced transfusions with red blood cells, plasma and platelets, or whole blood when available, and the use of intravenous or mechanical hemostatic adjuncts when indicated.”

 

-”he 30-day mortality in children with traumatic hemorrhagic shock is estimated to be 36% to 50% compared with the 25% reported mortality in similar adults. The early stages of hemorrhagic shock after injury in children can be more challenging to recognize because of their remarkable compensatory mechanisms. In children unlike adults, blood pressure alone is an insensitive indicator of hemorrhagic shock as hypotension is a late sign often not occurring until blood volume is reduced by >40%.”

 

-”Based on the current literature, the challenges health care providers must focus on are the early recognition of shock in the pediatric patient, moving the hemostatic resuscitation forward to the prehospital phase when feasible, improvement in times to first blood product, balanced resuscitation and efficiency of massive transfusion protocols (MTPs).”

 

Show References



Category: Trauma

Title: Does REBOA improve survival in trauma patients?

Keywords: REBOA, trauma, survival (PubMed Search)

Posted: 10/14/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Emailed: 10/15/2023) (Updated: 6/17/2024)
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

This UK study randomized 90 trauma patients suspected of having major life threatening torso hemorrhage to receive standard resuscitative care vs. standard care plus resuscitative endovascular occlusion of the aorta (REBOA). Mortality was 54% in the REBOA group and 42% in the standard care group. This calls into question the routine use of REBOA in trauma resuscitations.

Show References



Category: Trauma

Title: Large bore vs small bore chest tube for traumatic hemothorax

Keywords: Chest tube henothorax (PubMed Search)

Posted: 10/8/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Updated: 6/17/2024)
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

This article reminds us that using a small bore chest tube to drain traumatic hemothorax is supported by small studies and the Easterm Society for the Surgery in Trauma. 

Show References



Category: Trauma

Title: Hypertonic Saline or Mannitol for Head Injury?

Keywords: Head injury mannitol saline ICP (PubMed Search)

Posted: 10/1/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Updated: 6/17/2024)
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

"The main findings were the following: (1) there was no evidence of an effect of HTS compared with other agents (mainly mannitol) on long-term neurological outcome in patients with raised ICP; (2) similarly, there was no evidence of a beneficial effect of HTS on all-cause mortality, uncontrolled ICP, length of hospital or ICU stay, and ICP reduction; and (3) HTS may be associated with increased risk of adverse hypernatremia.”

 

Show References



Category: Gastrointestional

Title: Can appendectomy wait until the morning?

Keywords: appendicitis, delayed operating room, appendectomy (PubMed Search)

Posted: 9/17/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Updated: 6/17/2024)
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

This Scandinavian study from the Lancet says yes. They randomized 1800 patients over age 18 to appendectomy either within 8 hours or 24 hours and found no difference in perforation rate or other complications. 

 

Show References



Category: Trauma

Title: Rural damage control laparotomy can be life saving

Keywords: rural, trauma, laparotomy, damage control (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/19/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Emailed: 9/10/2023) (Updated: 6/17/2024)
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

For rural emergency departments, the decision to transfer a trauma patient to a level one center involves multiple factors including the patient’s hemodynamic stability. Harwell et al. looked at 47 trauma patients transferred from a rural hospital to a level one center. They found: “Overall mortality was significantly different between patients who had damage control laparotomy at a rural hospital (14.3%), were unstable transfer patients (75.0%), and stable transfer patients (3.3%; P < 0.001).”  They concluded: “Rural damage control laparotomy may be used as a means of stabilization prior to transfer to a Level 1 center, and in appropriate patients may be life-saving.”

Preplanning with emergency medicine, surgery, radiology, anesthesia, nursing, and the receiving trauma center on how to manage these patients is critical.  

Show References



Category: Trauma

Title: Post mortem Ct scan study identifies blunt traumatic arrest injuries

Keywords: arrest, trauma, pneumothorax, CT scan (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/19/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Emailed: 9/3/2023) (Updated: 6/17/2024)
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

In a study looking at 80 blunt trauma patients that died within 1 hour of arrival to a trauma center who underwent a noncontrast post mortem CT scan the following injuries were identified:

            -40% traumatic brain injury

            -25% long bone fracture

            -22.5% hemoperitoneum

            -25% cervical spine injury

            - 18.8% moderate/large pneumothorax

            -5% esophageal intubation

 

Blunt trauma arrest patients deserve decompression of the chest (preferred method is open with finger sweep). Intubation should be verified with end tidal CO2. Verification on arrival at the trauma center is also prudent.

Show References



Category: Trauma

Title: Liver Laceration Grading

Keywords: liver laceration, trauma (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/31/2023 by Robert Flint, MD
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

Show References



Category: Trauma

Title: How we can better approach traumatic cardiac arrest

Keywords: cardiac arrest, trauma, termination, blood, epinephrine (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/19/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Emailed: 8/27/2023) (Updated: 6/17/2024)
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

The authors of this paper suggest the following changes, supported by evidence, to the management of traumatic cardiac arrest:

1.    Epinephrine, bicarbonate and calcium have limited if no role in traumatic cardiac arrest.

2.    CPR may be harmful in traumatic cardiac arrest. Hypovolemia is the cause of death for most trauma patients and CPR cannot correct this.

3.    Blood is the resuscitative fluid to be given and all other fluids do not have a role in traumatic cardiac arrest.

4.    Correct hypoxia immediately.

5.    Finger thoracostomy to decompress penumothoracies, not needles.

6.    Utilize termination of resuscitation protocols to end resuscitations in the field.

Show References



Category: Trauma

Title: Prehospital vs ED arrival blood in pediatric patients.

Keywords: blood, transfusion, prehospital, pediatrics (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/19/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Emailed: 8/24/2023) (Updated: 6/17/2024)
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

In this small propensity matching study looking at prehospital blood transfusion vs. emergency department blood transfusion in trauma patients aged 0-17 these authors found a better 24 and in-hospital mortality for patients who received prehospital blood transfusion compared to those receiving blood on arrival to the emergency department.

“The number needed to transfuse in the prehospital setting to save 1 child's life was 5 (95% CI, 3-10).”

Show References



Category: Trauma

Title: Splenic Injury Grades

Keywords: Spleen, trauma, spleen injury grades (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/19/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Emailed: 8/20/2023) (Updated: 6/17/2024)
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

 

Splenic injury treatment depends on the grade of injury. In general, grades 1 and 2 are non-operatively managed. Grades 4 and 5 tend to be managed operatively. Interventional radiology is used commonly for grade 3 and grades 1 and 2 if active contrast extravasation is seen.  Below is a refresher on splenic injury grading.

 

 

Table 1

Adaptation of AAST Organ Injury Scale for Spleen

Grade 

Injury type

Description of injury

I

Hematoma
Laceration

Subcapsular, <10% surface area
Capsular tear, <1 cm parenchymal depth

II

Hematoma

Subcapsular, 10% to 50% surface area
Intraparenchymal, <5 cm in diameter

Laceration

Capsular tear, 1 cm to 3 cm parenchymal depth that does not involve a trabecular vessel

III

Hematoma
Laceration 

Subcapsular, >50% surface are or expanding: ruptured subcapsular or parenchymal hematoma: intraparenchymal hematoma_>5 cm or expanding
3 cm parenchymal depth or involving trabecular vessels

IV

Laceration

Laceration involving segmental or hilar vessels producing major devascularization (>25% of spleen)

V

Laceration
Vascular

Completely shattered spleen
Hilar vascular injury with devascularizes spleen 

  • Adapted from American Association for the Surgery of Trauma organ injury scale for spleen.

Show References



Category: Airway Management

Title: Anticipate the worst: major events peri-intubation

Keywords: major adverse event, airway, management, cardiovascular collapse (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/30/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Updated: 6/17/2024)
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

This systemic review and meta analysis looked at major adverses events (hypoxia, cardiovascular instability, or cardiac arrest) in patients intubated in emergency departments, ICU’s, or medical floors. They found nearly 1/3 of patents had an event. ICU intubation and patients with pre-existing hemodynamic compromise had the highest rate of adverse outcomes. This study gives further support to the concept of maximizing resuscitation pre-intubation and to anticipate a major event peri-intubation. Be prepared and don't be surprised when something doesn't go as planned.

Show References



Category: Orthopedics

Title: Bohler Angle

Keywords: Ortho, bohler angle, fracture. (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/27/2023 by Robert Flint, MD
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

"The normal value for the Böhler angle is between 25° and 40° 1. Although there is wide variation between individuals, there is relatively little variation between the left and right feet of a single individual 2. A reduced Böhler angle can be seen in displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures. The degree of reduction in the Böhler angle is an indicator of the severity of calcaneal injury, and the degree to which the Böhler angle is restored at surgery is correlated with functional outcome 3."

 

Show References



Category: Trauma

Title: How much is too much? Imaging before transfer.

Keywords: radiology, transfer, trauma, imaging, rural (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/23/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Updated: 6/17/2024)
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

Evaluating trauma patients at Level 3 or 4 centers, rural hospitals, and non-trauma centers is difficult. Understanding the amount of work-up to perform prior to transfer is important. Summers, et al suggest less is more when it comes to imaging. The receiving facility often repeats imaging leading to time delays, additional radiation exposure, and increased costs. Chest X-ray and FAST exam may be all that is indicated in centers that do not have the resources to care for injures identified on CT imaging prior to transfer.

Show References



Category: Trauma

Title: Tme to Access: IO vs IV

Keywords: access, IO, IV, resucitation (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/9/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Emailed: 7/16/2023)
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

This study found that time to intraosseous was faster than time to peripheral IV. This lead to quicker resuscitation time. This was particularly true in pateints that arrived without a pre-hospital IV. 

 

Show References