Surgical Specialist
28 years of experience
Video profile
Accepting new patients
Northwest Dallas
5323 Harry Hines Blvd
Dallas, TX 75390
214-648-7197
Locations and availability (2)

Education ?

Medical School Score Rankings
Yeshiva University (1982)
  • Currently 3 of 4 apples
Top 50%

Awards & Distinctions ?

Awards  
One of America's Leading Experts on:
Multiple Trauma
Wounds and Injuries
Associations
American Board of Surgery

Affiliations ?

Dr. Gentilello is affiliated with 9 hospitals.

Hospital Affilations

Score

Rankings

  • UT Southwestern University Hospital - St. Paul
    5909 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75235
    • Currently 4 of 4 crosses
    Top 25%
  • UT Southwestern University Hospital - Zale Lipshy
    5151 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75235
    • Currently 4 of 4 crosses
    Top 25%
  • Parkland Health & Hospital System
    5201 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75235
    • Currently 1 of 4 crosses
  • UT Southwestern St. Paul Hospital
  • Dallas County Hospital District
  • UT Southwestern Zale Lipshy Hospital
  • Parkland Medical Center
  • Va Medical Center
  • Saint Paul
  • Publications & Research

    Dr. Gentilello has contributed to 81 publications.
    Title Predictors of Early Versus Late Timing of Pulmonary Embolus After Traumatic Injury.
    Date February 2011
    Journal American Journal of Surgery
    Excerpt

    To identify risk factors predictive of pulmonary embolus (PE) timing after a traumatic injury.

    Title Health Care Reform at Trauma Centers--mortality, Complications, and Length of Stay.
    Date January 2011
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    The Trauma Quality Improvement Program has demonstrated existence of significant variations in risk-adjusted mortality across trauma centers. However, it is unknown whether centers with lower mortality rates also have reduced length of stay (LOS), with associated cost savings. We hypothesized that LOS is not primarily determined by unmodifiable factors, such as age and injury severity, but is primarily dependent on the development of potentially preventable complications.

    Title Transfusions and Long-term Functional Outcomes in Traumatic Brain Injury.
    Date September 2010
    Journal Journal of Neurosurgery
    Excerpt

    In this paper, the authors' goal was to examine the relationship between transfusion and long-term functional outcomes in moderately anemic patients (lowest hematocrit [HCT] level 21-30%) with traumatic brain injury (TBI). While evidence suggests that transfusions are associated with poor hospital outcomes, no study has examined transfusions and long-term functional outcomes in this population. The preferred transfusion threshold remains controversial.

    Title More Operations, More Deaths? Relationship Between Operative Intervention Rates and Risk-adjusted Mortality at Trauma Centers.
    Date August 2010
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    The Trauma Quality Improvement Project has demonstrated significant variations in risk-adjusted mortality rates across the designated trauma centers. It is not known whether the outcome differences are related to provider-level clinical decision making. We hypothesized that centers with good outcomes undertake critical operative interventions aggressively, thereby avoiding complications and deaths.

    Title Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Quality Indicators Do Not Correlate with Risk-adjusted Mortality at Trauma Centers.
    Date May 2010
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) publicly reports hospital compliance with evidence-based processes of care as quality indicators. We hypothesized that compliance with CMS quality indicators would correlate with risk-adjusted mortality rates in trauma patients.

    Title Quality of Care Within a Trauma Center Is Not Altered by Injury Type.
    Date April 2010
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    : Previous studies have demonstrated variations in severity-adjusted mortality between trauma centers. However, it is not clear if outcomes vary by the type of injury being treated.

    Title Significant Variations in Mortality Occur at Similarly Designated Trauma Centers.
    Date February 2009
    Journal Archives of Surgery (chicago, Ill. : 1960)
    Excerpt

    Mortality rates vary across designated trauma centers (TC), even after controlling for injury severity.

    Title Ethnic Disparities in Initial Management of Trauma Patients in a Nationwide Sample of Emergency Department Visits.
    Date December 2008
    Journal Archives of Surgery (chicago, Ill. : 1960)
    Excerpt

    HYPOTHESIS: Ethnic disparities in functional outcomes after traumatic brain injuries have been demonstrated previously. However, it is not clear if these disparities are due to differential access to initial diagnostic and treatment modalities or disproportionate care at poorly funded inner-city emergency departments (EDs). We hypothesized that initial assessment of injured patients in EDs is affected by patient ethnicity. DESIGN: Retrospective database analysis. SETTING: Data were obtained from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey ED component for 2003, which includes a national probability sample survey of ED visits. PATIENTS: All injury-related initial ED visits of patients 15 years and older were included. Patients were divided into 3 groups: non-Hispanic white (n = 6106), African American (n = 1406), and Hispanic (n = 1051). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The intensity of ED assessment and management and patient disposition from EDs were compared in the 3 groups. RESULTS: Compared with non-Hispanic white patients, minority patients were slightly younger and less likely to be insured but were similar in sex, mechanism of injury, and injury severity. There were no clinically significant differences between non-Hispanic white patients and the 2 minority groups in ED assessment, diagnostic and treatment modalities, and ED disposition. There were no systematic differences by region of the country, ownership of the hospitals, or insurance status of the patients. CONCLUSION: The initial assessment and management of injured patients from ethnic/racial minorities was similar to that of non-Hispanic white patients in a nationwide representative sample of ED visits. Other causes of ethnic disparities in outcomes after injuries should be sought.

    Title Nationwide Survey of Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention Practices at Us Level I Trauma Centers.
    Date November 2008
    Journal Journal of the American College of Surgeons
    Excerpt

    In 2007, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma implemented a requirement that Level I trauma centers must have a mechanism to identify patients who are problem drinkers and the capacity to provide an intervention for patients who screen positive. Although the landmark alcohol screening and brief intervention (SBI) mandate is anticipated to impact trauma practice nationwide, a literature review revealed no studies that have systematically documented SBI practice pre-ACS requirement.

    Title The Use of Leukoreduced Red Blood Cell Products is Associated with Fewer Infectious Complications in Trauma Patients.
    Date July 2008
    Journal American Journal of Surgery
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Clinical studies suggest that leukocytes in banked blood may increase infectious complications after transfusion. However, these investigations included few injured patients. Therefore, the effect of the use of leukoreduced red blood cell (RBC) products in this patient population is unknown. In addition, large numbers of RBC transfusions are frequently required in the treatment of patients with hemorrhagic shock, which may have a more profound effect on infectious risk. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of prestorage leukoreduction on infectious complications in injured patients. METHODS: A retrospective before-and-after cohort study was conducted at an urban level 1 trauma center. A policy of using leukoreduced RBC products commenced in January 2002. Patients treated from March 2002 through December 2003 received leukoreduced RBC products. Those transfused from March 2000 through December 2001 served as controls. Inclusion criteria were age >or=18 years, survival >or=2 days after admission, and transfusion of >or=2 U RBCs within 24 hours of admission. There were 240 patients in the leukoreduction group, and 438 patients in the control group. Multivariate logistic regression controlling for age, sex, injury severity, and number of transfusions was used to determine if leukoreduction status was an independent predictor of infectious complications. Subset analysis was performed on patients receiving massive transfusion (ie, >6 units in 24 hours; n = 168). RESULTS: Patient demographics and injury severity characteristics were similar during both treatment periods. Overall, those patients receiving leukoreduced RBC products had a 45% reduction in nosocomial pneumonia (odds ratio [OR] .55; 95% confidence interval [CI] .33-.91) and a significant reduction in the development of any type of infection (OR .48; 95% CI .31-.73). In the massive-transfusion subset, the OR for development of any infection was .33 (95% CI, .15-.73), and the OR for the development of pneumonia was .29 (95% CI, .11.76) in those patients receiving leukoreduced RBC products. There were no differences in mortality within the overall- or massive-transfusion subset analyses. CONCLUSION: Prestorage leukoreduction is associated with a reduction of infectious complications in injured patients. Furthermore, this protective effect appears more pronounced in patients receiving massive transfusion (>6 U packed RBCs).

    Title Could Beta Blockade Improve Outcome After Injury by Modulating Inflammatory Profiles?
    Date April 2008
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Cardioprotection with beta-receptor antagonists improves outcome in high risk patients undergoing elective surgery. Recent trials have demonstrated an association between beta blocker (BB) use and improved outcomes after injury. The mechanisms through which BB result in improved outcomes remain poorly elucidated. In vitro evidence supports that BB modulates the postinjury inflammatory response. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of BB on inflammatory profiles in injured patients at increased risk for heart disease. METHODS: A pseudo-randomized, controlled trial of injured patients over 55 admitted to the intensive care unit was conducted. Patients were randomized to receive continuous BB or standard of care. Patients with a reported history of prehospital BB use were enrolled into an observational arm of the trial, continued on BB, and analyzed with the continuous BB group. Plasma interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-1beta levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay at baseline and day 1, 2, and 4 after BB initiation. Cytokine data were log transformed for normality assumptions. Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to test for within-group differences in cytokine levels over time. RESULTS: Forty-two patients were enrolled. Seventeen patients were randomized to the control group and 25 patients received continuous BB (10 randomized/15 observational). There was no difference in gender, age, prior history of heart disease, or admission heart rate, systolic blood pressure or initial base deficit between groups. Baseline levels of IL-6 and IL-1beta did not differ between groups. Levels of IL-6, but not IL-1beta, decreased over time in patients receiving BB (p = 0.04), whereas levels in controls remained unchanged (p = 0.27). There were no BB related complications. CONCLUSIONS: Use of BB decreases serum IL-6 levels over time in injured patients at risk for heart disease. This may contribute to improved outcomes noted in trauma patients receiving BB. Additionally, BB use in this population of patients is safe after endpoints of resuscitation have been met.

    Title Trauma Quality Improvement Using Risk-adjusted Outcomes.
    Date April 2008
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    PURPOSE: The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program has improved the quality of surgical care by tracking risk-adjusted patient outcomes. Unlike the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, the trauma center verification program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) focuses on availability of optimal resources, not outcomes. We hypothesized that significant variations in outcomes exist across similar level ACS-verified trauma centers despite availability of similar resources. METHODS: The National Trauma Data Bank was used to identify adult patients (age 16-99 years) who were treated at ACS-verified Level I trauma centers that submitted at least 1,000 patients during the 5-year study period (264,102 patients from 58 trauma centers, excluding dead upon arrival). Multivariate logistic regression was used to analyze expected survival for each patient, adjusted for age, gender, race, injury mechanism, transfer status, and injury severity. Observed-to-expected survival ratios (O/E ratios with 95% confidence intervals) were used to rank trauma centers as high performers (O/E ratio significantly larger than 1), low performers (O/E ratio significantly less than 1), or average performers (O/E ratio overlapping 1). RESULTS: Almost half the centers performed significantly different from their risk-adjusted expectation. Fourteen were high performers, 11 were low performers, and 33 were average performers. CONCLUSIONS: The trauma center verification process in its present form may not ensure optimal outcome across all verified centers. If further validated, these findings suggest significant room for trauma quality improvement by replicating structures and processes of high performing trauma centers.

    Title Moving Beyond Personnel and Process: a Case for Incorporating Outcome Measures in the Trauma Center Designation Process.
    Date March 2008
    Journal Archives of Surgery (chicago, Ill. : 1960)
    Excerpt

    HYPOTHESIS: Similarly designated trauma centers do not achieve similar outcomes. DESIGN: Outcomes study. SETTING: Academic research. PARTICIPANTS: Forty-seven American College of Surgeons-verified level I trauma centers that contributed more than 1000 patients to the National Trauma Data Bank (from January 1999 to December 2003) were identified. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Patients were classified into the following 3 injury severity groups using a combination of anatomical and physiological measures: mild (Injury Severity Score [ISS] of <25 with systolic blood pressure [SBP] of >/=90 mm Hg [n = 184 650]), moderate (ISS of >/=25 with SBP of >/=90 mm Hg or ISS of <25 with SBP of <90 mm Hg [n = 22 586]), and severe (ISS of >/=25 with SBP of <90 mm Hg [n = 4243]). The mean survival for each group was calculated. Individual centers were considered outliers if their patient survival was statistically significantly different from the mean survival for each severity group. RESULTS: The mean survival of patients with mild, moderate, and severe injuries was 99%, 75%, and 35%, respectively. For mild injuries, survival at 5 centers (11%) was significantly worse than that at their counterpart centers. With increasing injury severity, the percentages of outcome disparities increased (15% of centers for moderate injuries and 21% of centers for severe injuries) and persisted in subgroups of patients with head injuries, patients sustaining penetrating injuries, and older (>55 years) individuals. CONCLUSIONS: When treating patients with similar injury severity, similarly designated level I trauma centers may not achieve similar outcomes, suggesting the existence of a quality chasm in trauma care. Trauma center verification may require the use of outcome measures when determining trauma center status.

    Title Quantity and Quality of Sleep in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit: Are Our Patients Sleeping?
    Date February 2008
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: The lack of adequate sleep during intensive care unit (ICU) admission is a frequently overlooked complication. Disrupted sleep is associated with immune system dysfunction, impaired resistance to infection, as well as alterations in nitrogen balance and wound healing. The effects of surgical ICU admission on patients' sleep quality and architecture remain poorly defined. The purpose of this study was to describe the quantity and quality of sleep as well as sleep architecture, as defined by polysomnography (PSG), in patients cared for in the surgical ICU. METHODS: A prospective observational cohort study was performed at our urban Level I trauma center. A convenience sample of surgical or trauma ICU patients underwent continuous PSG for up to 24 hours to evaluate sleep patterns. A certified sleep technician performed, monitored, and scored all PSG recordings. A single neurologist trained in PSG interpretation reviewed all PSG recordings. chi goodness-of-fit analysis was performed to detect differences in the proportion of time spent in stages 1 and 2 (superficial stages), stages 3 and 4 (deep stages), or rapid eye movement (REM) sleep between study patients and healthy historical controls. All PSG recordings were performed greater than 24 hours after the administration of a general anesthetic. Patients with traumatic brain injury were excluded. RESULTS: Sixteen patients were selected to undergo PSG recordings. Median age was 37.5 years (range, 20-83), 81.3% were male patients, 62.5% were injured, and 31.3% were mechanically ventilated. Total PSG recording time was 315 hours (mean, 19.7 hours per patient), total sleep time captured by PSG was 132 hours (mean, 8.28 hours per patient), and there were 6.2 awakenings per hour of sleep measured. ICU patients had an increase in the proportion of time spent in the superficial stages of sleep, and a decrease in the proportion of time spent in the deeper stages of sleep as well as a decrease in REM sleep compared with healthy controls (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Patients do achieve measurable sleep while cared for in a surgical ICU setting. However, sleep is fragmented and the quality of sleep is markedly abnormal with significant reductions in stages 3 and 4 and REM, the deeper restorative stages of sleep. Further studies on the effects of a strategy to promote sleep during ICU care are warranted.

    Title Racial Disparities in Long-term Functional Outcome After Traumatic Brain Injury.
    Date February 2008
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: Ethnic disparities have been demonstrated in several diseases, but not in trauma. We hypothesized that access to acute rehabilitation and long-term functional outcomes among traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients are influenced by patient race and ethnicity. METHODS: Patients with severe TBI (Abbreviated Injury Scale [AIS] score, 3-5) who were discharged alive from initial hospitalization were recruited from an urban Level I trauma center (1998-2005). Functional outcome was measured 6 to 12 months after injury using the Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended (GOSE) score, and classified as good recovery (GOSE score, 7 and 8) or moderate to severe disability (GOSE score, 1-6). Ethnic minorities (n = 114) were compared with non-Hispanic Whites (NHW, n = 230). Logistic regression was used to measure the association between ethnicity and functional outcome while controlling for age, gender, Injury Severity Score (ISS), head AIS score, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, discharge disposition, and insurance. RESULTS: Minority and NHW groups had similar ISS, GCS score, and head AIS score. Ethnic minorities were less likely to be insured (uninsured, 66% vs. 31%, p < 0.001), but were equally likely to be placed in a rehabilitation facility upon trauma center discharge (47% vs. 42%, p = 0.417). Minority patients were more likely to have moderate to severe disability at follow-up (74% vs. 61%; adjusted odds ratio [OR], 2.17; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.27-3.69). The relationship between ethnicity and functional outcome became insignificant when insurance was taken into account (OR, 1.52; 95% CI, 0.81-2.72). CONCLUSION: Despite equal access to acute rehabilitation, ethnic minorities have significantly worse long-term functional outcomes after TBI, which is related to lack of health insurance.

    Title Ethnic Disparities in Long-term Functional Outcomes After Traumatic Brain Injury.
    Date February 2008
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVES: Ethnic disparities in access to acute rehabilitation and in long-term global neurologic outcomes after traumatic brain injury (TBI) have been previously documented. The current study was undertaken to determine whether there are specific types of functional deficits that disproportionately affect ethnic minorities after TBI. METHODS: The TBI Clinical Trials Network is a National Institutes of Health-funded multicenter prospective study. Local data from trauma centers in a single ethnically diverse major metropolitan study site were analyzed. Functional outcomes were measured in 211 patients with blunt TBI (head Abbreviated Injury Scale score 3-5) who were alive >/=6 months after discharge using the Functional Status Examination (FSE), which measures outcome in 10 functional domains and compares current functional status to preinjury status. For each domain, patients were classified as functionally independent (FSE score 1, 2) or dependent upon others (FSE score 3, 4). Ethnic minorities (n = 66) were compared with non-Hispanic whites (n = 145), with p < 0.05 considered significant. RESULTS: The two groups had similar injury severity (head Abbreviated Injury Scale score, initial Glasgow Coma Scale score, Injury Severity Score) and were equally likely to be placed in rehabilitation after trauma center discharge (minorities 51%, whites 46%, p = 0.28). Minority patients experienced worse long-term functional outcomes in all domains, which reached statistical significance in post-TBI standard of living, engagement in leisure activities, and return to work or school. CONCLUSIONS: Ethnic minorities with TBI suffer worse long-term deficits in three specific functional domains. TBI rehabilitation programs should target these specific areas to reduce disparities in functional outcomes in ethnic minorities.

    Title Increased Fatalities After Motorcycle Helmet Law Repeal: is It All Because of Lack of Helmets?
    Date January 2008
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: During the last 10 years, the number of motorcycle riders in the United States has risen sharply. The corresponding increase in fatalities observed during this time may be because of the increase in riders, or because the number of states that mandate universal helmet use has decreased. We examined the effect of the repeal of Florida's helmet law in July 2000 to test the hypothesis that the increase in fatalities observed after repeal resulted from an increase in the number of motorcycle riders. METHODS: We identified all motorcycle fatalities (N = 197) in Miami-Dade county for a 3.5-year period before repeal (prelaw), and a similar period after repeal (postlaw), using police crash reports and medical examiner records. We compared the number of fatalities, frequency of helmet use in fatal crashes, and number of registered motorcycles in the two time periods. RESULTS: There was a decrease in helmet use from 80% to 33%, and an increase in motorcycle fatalities after repeal: 72 to 125. However, repeal was also associated with a rise in annual motorcycle registrations from 17,270 to 39,043. Fatality rates adjusted for numbers of registered motorcycles did not change significantly; 11.6 deaths per 10,000 motorcycles prelaw, and 12.5 deaths postlaw. CONCLUSIONS: There was a significant rise in motorcycle fatalities after Florida's helmet law repeal, which appears to be associated with an increase in the number of motorcycle riders. Injury prevention efforts focusing on factors other than helmet use should be developed in light of continuing repeal of universal motorcycle helmet laws across the nation.

    Title Ethnic Disparities Exist in Trauma Care.
    Date January 2008
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: An estimated 5.3 million people in the United States live with permanent disability related to traumatic brain injury (TBI). Access to rehabilitation after TBI is important in minimizing these disabilities. Ethnic disparities in access to health care have been documented in other diseases, but have not been studied in trauma care. We hypothesized that access to rehabilitation after TBI is influenced by race or ethnicity. METHODS: Retrospective analysis of the National Trauma Data Bank patients with severe blunt TBI (head abbreviated injury score 3-5, n = 58,729) who survived the initial hospitalization was performed. Placement into rehabilitation after discharge was studied in three groups: non-Hispanic white (NHW 77%), African American (14%), and Hispanic (9%). The two minority groups were compared with NHW patients using logistic regression to control for differences in age, gender, overall injury severity (injury severity score), TBI severity (head abbreviated injury score and Glasgow Coma Scale score), associated injuries, and insurance status. RESULTS: The three groups were similar in injury severity score, TBI severity, and associated injuries. After accounting for differences in potential confounders, including injury severity and insurance status, minority patients were 15% less likely to be placed in rehabilitation (odds ratio 0.85, 95% confidence interval 0.8-0.9, p < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Ethnic minority patients are less likely to be placed in rehabilitation than NHW patients are, even after accounting for insurance status, suggesting existence of systematic inequalities in access. Such inequalities may have a disproportionate impact on long-term functional outcomes of African American and Hispanic TBI patients, and suggest the need for an in-depth analysis of this disparity at a health policy level.

    Title Effects of Early Use of External Pelvic Compression on Transfusion Requirements and Mortality in Pelvic Fractures.
    Date December 2007
    Journal American Journal of Surgery
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: We hypothesized that early use of external mechanical compression (EMC) reduces hemorrhage and mortality associated with pelvic fractures. METHODS: Patients with pelvic fractures and one of the following risk factors for hemorrhage were studied retrospectively: (1) unstable fracture pattern, or (2) any fracture in patients older than 55 years of age, or (3) fracture with systemic hypotension. Starting in November of 2003, EMC was performed using circumferential pelvic binders on patient arrival and continued for 24 to 72 hours. Patients who underwent EMC (n = 118) were compared with historical controls in the preceding year (n = 119). RESULTS: Patients in the EMC and control groups had similar fracture patterns, age, and injury severity. EMC had no effect on mortality (23% vs 23%, P = .92), need for pelvic angioembolization (11% vs 15%, P = .35), or 24-hour transfusions (5.2 +/- 10 vs 4.6 +/- 9 U, P = .64). CONCLUSIONS: Early EMC with pelvic binders does not reduce hemorrhage or mortality associated with pelvic fractures.

    Title Increased Risk of Death Associated with Hypotension is Not Altered by the Presence of Brain Injury in Pediatric Trauma Patients.
    Date December 2007
    Journal American Journal of Surgery
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Hypotension is a well-known predictor of mortality in pediatric trauma patients. However, it is unknown whether the mortality rate is higher in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) than in those without TBI. We hypothesized that systemic hypotension increases mortality in pediatric patients with TBI more than it does in pediatric patients with extracranial injuries only. METHODS: Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the relationship between hypotension and the risk of death. Patients were then divided into 2 groups: TBI and No-TBI and the model was applied separately to each group. RESULTS: Overall mortality was 2%. After adjusting for confounding variables, hypotension remained a strong independent predictor of mortality. However, the increased risk of death was similar in patients with and without TBI. CONCLUSION: Hypotension is an important predictor of death in pediatric trauma patients. The increased risk of death associated with hypotension is similar with or without traumatic brain injury.

    Title Trauma Patients' Desire for Autonomy in Medical Decision Making is Impaired by Smoking and Hazardous Alcohol Consumption--a Bi-national Study.
    Date November 2007
    Journal The Journal of International Medical Research
    Excerpt

    This cross-sectional investigation studied the association between substance use and patients' desire for autonomy in medical decision making (MDM) in two trauma settings. A total of 102 patients (age 42.7 +/- 17.4 years, 70.6% male) admitted to an orthopaedic service in Warsaw, Poland, and 1009 injured patients (age 34.6 +/- 12.8 years, 62.3% male) treated in an emergency department in Berlin, Germany, were enrolled. Patients' desire for autonomy in MDM was evaluated with the Decision Making Preference Scale of the Autonomy Preference Index. Substance use (hazardous alcohol consumption and/or tobacco use) and educational level were measured. Linear regression techniques were used to determine the association between substance use and desire for autonomy in MDM. Substance use was found to be independently associated with a reduced desire by the patient for autonomy in medical decision making. No differences in patients' desire for autonomy were observed between the study sites. Empowerment strategies that encourage smokers or patients with hazardous alcohol consumption to participate in MDM may increase the effectiveness of health promotion and injury prevention efforts in this population.

    Title Hemoglobin Drops Within Minutes of Injuries and Predicts Need for an Intervention to Stop Hemorrhage.
    Date September 2007
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Hemoglobin (Hgb) levels obtained shortly after injury may not detect occult bleeding in trauma patients because of the time needed for plasma levels to equilibrate, or may be confounded by crystalloid-related hemodilution. We hypothesized that Hgb levels measured within minutes of arrival can identify trauma patients who are actively bleeding. METHODS: A retrospective study of 404 consecutive patients was undertaken at an urban Level I trauma center, which included 39 patients who required emergent surgical or radiologic intervention to control bleeding. All 404 patients underwent point-of-care Hgb measurements within 30 minutes of emergency department (ED) arrival. Hgb levels were correlated with physiologic signs of hemorrhage(blood pressure, heart rate, base deficit, pH, and resuscitation volume), and the need for emergent interventions to stop hemorrhage. RESULTS: Early Hgb levels were significantly lower in patients who required emergent interventions to stop hemorrhage (mean +/- SD: 12 +/- 2 gm/dL vs. 13 +/- 2 gm/dL, p < 0.001). Lower Hgb levels were associated with increasing heart rate, decreasing blood pressure, decreasing pH, worsening base deficit, and increasing transfusion requirements. Hgb < or =10 gm/dL was associated with a greater than three-fold increase in the need for emergent interventions to stop bleeding (odds ratio 3.14, 95% confidence interval 1.18-8.35, p < 0.03), and correctly identified the need for intervention in 87% of patients. CONCLUSION: Hemorrhage in trauma patients is associated with an early decrease in Hgb level. Hgb < or =10 gm/dL in the first 30 minutes of patient arrival will correctly identify presence or absence of significant bleeding in almost 9 of 10 trauma patients.

    Title Abdominal Ultrasound is an Unreliable Modality for the Detection of Hemoperitoneum in Patients with Pelvic Fracture.
    Date August 2007
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Detection of hemoperitoneum in patients with pelvic fracture and hemodynamic instability is important to determine the need for laparotomy versus pelvic angiography. The use of ultrasound (FAST [Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma]) for the evaluation of hemoperitoneum after blunt abdominal trauma has become widespread. However, its sensitivity and specificity in patients with pelvic fracture remain poorly defined. The purpose of this study was to determine the sensitivity and specificity of FAST for the detection of hemoperitoneum in patients with pelvic fracture and an increased risk for hemorrhage. METHODS: The medical records for all admissions to our Level I trauma center from November 2003 to February 2005 were retrospectively reviewed. Inclusion criteria were presence of pelvic fracture with at least one of the following risk factors for hemorrhage: age > or =55, hemorrhagic shock (systolic blood pressure <100 mm Hg), or unstable fracture pattern. Emergency department FAST results were recorded. Surgery residents trained and certified in ultrasonography in the acute setting performed all FAST examinations and an in house attending surgeon reviewed them. Presence of hemoperitoneum was confirmed by laparotomy or abdominopelvic computed tomography (CT) scan. RESULTS: There were 146 patients who met entry criteria, 126 of who had a FAST examination performed. A total of 104 patients underwent a confirmatory evaluation of their abdomen with either operative exploration (n = 20) or CT scan (n = 84). Eight patients underwent diagnostic peritoneal lavage before CT confirmation and were excluded. Ninety-six patients constituted the study group. Nineteen patients presented in hemorrhagic shock. There were 11 true-positive, 52 true-negative, 2 false-positive, and 31 false-negative results. Sensitivity and specificity were 26% and 96%, respectively. Positive and negative predictive values were 85% and 63%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: A FAST examination with negative result does not aid in determining the need for laparotomy versus pelvic angiography in patients with pelvic fracture at risk for hemorrhage. These patients should undergo additional confirmatory evaluation to exclude intraperitoneal hemorrhage.

    Title Alcohol and Injury: American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma Requirements for Trauma Center Intervention.
    Date July 2007
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Title Serum B-type Natriuretic Peptide: a Marker of Fluid Resuscitation After Injury?
    Date July 2007
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Excessive volume resuscitation after injury is associated with severe complications. B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is secreted from myocardium under increased wall stretch and is used in medical intensive care units (ICUs) as a noninvasive method to detect heart failure. However, the use of BNP as a marker of fluid overload during resuscitation from injury has not been previously described. METHODS: Serum BNP levels were prospectively followed in 134 trauma ICU patients. Levels were obtained at admission and at 12, 24, and 48 hours. Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to test for differences in BNP levels over time. Post hoc pairwise comparisons were made with Bonferroni correction when the omnibus test indicated significance. Chest films were obtained at 24 hours and scored for the presence of pulmonary edema by a radiologist blinded to BNP measurements (n = 45). Twenty-four hour BNP levels for patients with or without radiographic evidence of pulmonary edema were compared using nonparametric analysis (Mann-Whitney U). RESULTS: Admission BNP levels were low and increased with fluid resuscitation over time in all patients (p = 0.002) as well as in a subgroup of patients <60 years of age (p = 0.003). At 24 hours, 25 patients had no pulmonary edema evident on chest X-ray, whereas 20 were scored indicating that pulmonary edema was present. Patients with evidence of pulmonary edema had higher mean BNP levels at 24 hours (110 +/- 31 pg/mL) than did patients without edema (47.0 +/- 10.8 pg/mL) (p = 0.04). CONCLUSIONS: Serum BNP levels increase with resuscitation after injury and levels are higher in patients who develop pulmonary edema. These findings suggest that BNP might be a marker of excessive volume resuscitation after injury.

    Title Heart Rate: is It Truly a Vital Sign?
    Date May 2007
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Tachycardia, often defined as heart rate >100 bpm, has been utilized as a physical sign of hypovolemic shock among the injured for decades without evidence to support its use as a predictor of injury or significant hypovolemia. We sought to determine whether admission heart rate is a valid predictor of hemodynamically significant injuries. METHODS: Trauma registry data from 1998 to 2004 were analyzed with logistic regression to determine whether heart rate was associated with need for emergent intervention for bleeding (laparotomy, thoracotomy, or angiography), need for packed red blood cell (pRBC) transfusion in the first 24 hours, or severe injury (ISS >25) after blunt or penetrating trauma. RESULTS: Records of 10,825 patients were analyzed. Overall, heart rate was neither sensitive nor specific in determining the need for emergent intervention, pRBCs in the first 24 hours or severe injury. This was not altered by the presence of hypotension (systolic blood pressure <90 mm Hg) or age in the blunt cohort. CONCLUSIONS: Heart rate alone is not sufficient to determine the need for emergent interventions for hemorrhage. Although tachycardia may still indicate need for emergent intervention in the trauma patient, its absence should not allay such concern.

    Title Usefulness of the Abbreviated Injury Score and the Injury Severity Score in Comparison to the Glasgow Coma Scale in Predicting Outcome After Traumatic Brain Injury.
    Date May 2007
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Assessment of injury severity is important in the management of patients with brain trauma. We aimed to analyze the usefulness of the head abbreviated injury score (AIS), the injury severity score (ISS), and the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) as measures of injury severity and predictors of outcome after traumatic brain injury (TBI). METHODS: Data were prospectively collected from 410 patients with TBI. AIS, ISS, and GCS were recorded at admission. Subjects' outcomes after TBI were measured using the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS-E) at 12 months postinjury. Uni- and multivariate analyses were performed. RESULTS: Outcome information was obtained from 270 patients (66%). ISS was the best predictor of GOS-E (rs = -0.341, p < 0.001), followed by GCS score (rs = 0.227, p < 0.001), and head AIS (rs = -0.222, p < 0.001). When considered in combination, GCS score and ISS modestly improved the correlation with GOS-E (R = 0.335, p < 0.001). The combination of GCS score and head AIS had a similar effect (R = 0.275, p < 0.001). Correlations were stronger from patients <or=48 years old. We found comparable correlations between patients who suffered severe injuries (GCS <or=8) and those who suffered mild and moderate injuries (GCS >8). CONCLUSIONS: GCS score, AIS, and ISS are weakly correlated with 12-month outcome. However, anatomic measures modestly outperform GCS as predictors of GOS-E. The combination of GCS and AIS/ISS correlate with outcome better than do any of the three measures alone. Results support the addition of anatomic measures such as AIS and ISS in clinical studies of TBI. Additionally, most of the variance in outcome is not accounted for by currently available measures of injury severity.

    Title Effect of Alcohol on Glasgow Coma Scale in Head-injured Patients.
    Date May 2007
    Journal Annals of Surgery
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: Almost 50% of traumatic brain-injured (TBI) patients are alcohol intoxicated. The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is frequently used to direct diagnostic and therapeutic decisions in these patients. It is commonly assumed that alcohol intoxication reduces GCS, thus limiting its utility in intoxicated patients. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that the presence of blood alcohol has a clinically significant impact on GCS in TBI patients. METHODS: The National Trauma Data Bank of the American College of Surgeons was queried (1994-2003). Patients 18 to 45 years of age with blunt injury mechanism, whose GCS in the emergency department, survival status, anatomic severity of TBI (Head Abbreviated Injury Score [AIS]), and blood alcohol testing status were known, were included. GCS of patients who tested positive for alcohol (n = 55,732) was compared with GCS of patients who tested negative (n = 53,197), stratified by head AIS. RESULTS: Groups were similar in age (31 +/- 8 vs. 30 +/- 8 years), Injury Severity Score (ISS; 12 +/- 11 vs. 12 +/- 11), systolic blood pressure in the ED (131 +/- 25 vs. 134 +/- 25 mm Hg), TRISS (Trauma Injury Severity Score; probability of survival (94% +/- 16% vs. 95% +/- 15%), and actual survival (96% vs. 96%). When stratified by anatomic severity of TBI, the presence of alcohol did not lower GCS by more than 1 point in any head AIS group (GCS in alcohol-positive vs. alcohol-negative patients; AIS 1 = 13.9 +/- 2.8 vs. 14.3 +/- 2.3; AIS 2 = 13.4 +/- 3.2 vs. 14.1 +/- 2.4; AIS 3 = 11.1 +/- 4.7 vs. 11.6 +/- 4.6; AIS 4 = 9.8 +/- 4.9 vs. 10.4 +/- 4.9; AIS 5 = 5.5 +/- 3.8 vs. 5.9 +/- 4.1, AIS 6: 3.4 +/- 1.1 vs. 3.8 +/- 2.8). CONCLUSION: Alcohol use does not result in a clinically significant reduction in GCS in trauma patients. Attributing low GCS to alcohol intoxication in TBI patients may delay necessary diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.

    Title Alcohol and the Intensive Care Unit: It's Not Just an Antiseptic.
    Date March 2007
    Journal Critical Care Medicine
    Title Let's Diagnose Alcohol Problems in the Emergency Department and Successfully Intervene.
    Date February 2007
    Journal Medgenmed : Medscape General Medicine
    Title Waiting for the Patient to "sober Up": Effect of Alcohol Intoxication on Glasgow Coma Scale Score of Brain Injured Patients.
    Date January 2007
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Between 35% to 50% of traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients are under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol intoxication may limit the ability of the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) to accurately assess severity of TBI. We hypothesized that alcohol intoxication significantly depresses GCS scores of TBI patients. METHODS: A 10-year, retrospective analysis of a Level I trauma center registry was undertaken. The study population consisted of all blunt injured TBI patients tested for blood alcohol concentration (BAC, n = 1,075). Patients were divided into two groups; intoxicated (mean BAC 202 +/- 77 mg/dL, n = 504) and nonintoxicated (BAC = 0, n = 571). TBI was classified using ICD-9 codes as concussion alone (ICD-9 850, n = 90) and intracranial injury (ICI, ICD-9 851-854, n = 985). Severity was further classified using the Abbreviated Injury Score (AIS). Mean GCS score was compared between the two groups. Patients who were either intubated or hypotensive upon arrival were analyzed separately to rule out confounding effects on GCS score. Severely intoxicated patients (BAC >250 mg/dL, [mean +/- SD] 309 +/- 54 SD, n = 118) were similarly compared. Finally, multivariate linear regression analysis was undertaken to determine whether BAC level was an independent predictor of GCS score while controlling for confounding factors. RESULTS: Intoxicated and nonintoxicated TBI patients were clinically similar. Alcohol intoxication had little effect on GCS score, with less than a single point difference in all types of TBI, except the most severely injured (AIS 5 injuries, GCS score difference 1.4 points). These results were not altered by endotracheal intubation, systemic hypotension, or severe intoxication. Similarly, BAC was not a significant independent predictor of GCS score in a multivariate model. CONCLUSION: Alcohol intoxication does not result in clinically significant changes in GCS score for patients with blunt TBI. Hence, alterations in GCS score after TBI should not be attributed to alcohol intoxication, as doing so might result in inappropriate delays in monitoring and therapeutic interventions.

    Title Long-term Fetal Outcomes in Pregnant Trauma Patients.
    Date December 2006
    Journal American Journal of Surgery
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Trauma during pregnancy is associated with significant maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality, typically occurring during the hospital admission. Less is known about the delayed effects of trauma on pregnancy outcome once the patient has been discharged from the hospital with a viable fetus. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted of pregnant trauma patients who were discharged from the trauma center with a viable fetus. Risk of preterm delivery (PTD) and low birth weight (LBW) were compared between injured patients (Injury Severity Score > 0) and those without identified injury (Injury Severity Score = 0), for the remainder of pregnancy. RESULTS: Even after trauma center discharge, injured patients had a nearly 2-fold higher risk of PTD (relative risk, 1.9; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-3.3) and LBW (relative risk, 1.8; 95% confidence interval, 1.04-3.2) for the remainder of the pregnancy. The risk was higher with increasing injury severity and among those injured early in gestation. CONCLUSION: The risk of PTD and LBW in pregnant trauma patients who were discharged from trauma centers with a viable fetus remains increased throughout the remainder of the pregnancy. A history of trauma during gestation is a risk factor for poor pregnancy outcome.

    Title Systemic Hypotension is a Late Marker of Shock After Trauma: a Validation Study of Advanced Trauma Life Support Principles in a Large National Sample.
    Date December 2006
    Journal American Journal of Surgery
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Systolic blood pressure is used extensively to triage trauma patients as stable or unstable, contrary to Advanced Trauma Life Support recommendations. We hypothesized that systemic hypotension is a late marker of shock. METHODS: The National Trauma Data Bank was queried (n = 115,830). Base deficit was used as a measure of circulatory shock. Systolic blood pressure was correlated with the presence and the severity of base-deficit derangement. RESULTS: Systolic blood pressure correlated poorly with base deficit (r = .28). There was wide variation in systolic blood pressure within each base-deficit group. The mean and median systolic blood pressure did not decrease to less than 90 mm Hg until the base deficit was worse than -20, with mortality reaching 65%. CONCLUSIONS: We validated the Advanced Trauma Life Support principle that systemic hypotension is a late marker of shock. A normal blood pressure should not deter aggressive evaluation and resuscitation of trauma patients.

    Title The Effect of Computerized Tailored Brief Advice on At-risk Drinking in Subcritically Injured Trauma Patients.
    Date November 2006
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: One-third of injured patients treated in the emergency department (ED) have an alcohol use disorder (AUD). Few are screened and receive counseling because ED staff have little time for additional tasks. We hypothesized that computer technology can screen and provide an intervention that reduces at-risk drinking (British Medical Association criteria) in injured ED patients. METHODS: In all, 3,026 subcritically injured patients admitted to an ED were screened for an AUD using a laptop computer that administered the AUD Identification Test (AUDIT) and assessed motivation to reduce drinking. Patients with a positive AUDIT (n = 1,139) were randomized to an intervention (n = 563) or control (n = 576) condition. The computer generated a customized printout based on the patient's own alcohol use pattern, level of motivation, and personal factors, which was provided in the form of feedback and advice. RESULTS: Most patients (85%) used the computer with minimal assistance. At study entry, a similar proportion in each group met criteria for at-risk drinking (49.6% versus 46.8%, p = 0.355). At 6 months, 21.7% of intervention and 30.4% of control patients met criteria for at-risk drinking (p = 0.008). Intervention patients also had a 35.7% decrease in alcohol intake, compared with a 20.5% decrease in controls (p = 0.006). At 12 months, alcohol intake decreased by 22.8% in the intervention group versus 10.9% in controls (p = 0.023), but the proportion of at-risk drinkers did not significantly differ (37.3% versus 42.6%, p = 0.168). CONCLUSIONS: The computer-generated intervention was associated with a significant decrease in alcohol use and at-risk drinking. Research is needed to further evaluate and adapt information technology to provide preventive clinical services in the ED.

    Title Pulmonary Artery Catheter Use is Associated with Reduced Mortality in Severely Injured Patients: a National Trauma Data Bank Analysis of 53,312 Patients.
    Date June 2006
    Journal Critical Care Medicine
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between pulmonary artery catheter (PAC) use and mortality in a large cohort of injured patients. We hypothesized that PAC use is associated with improved survival in critically injured trauma patients. DESIGN: Retrospective database analysis. SETTING: A total of 268 level 1 trauma centers from across the United States. PATIENTS: A total of 53,312 patients admitted to the intensive care units of the trauma centers participating in the National Trauma Data Bank maintained by the American College of Surgeons. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The National Trauma Data Bank was queried to identify patients aged 16-90 yrs with complete data on base deficit, and Injury Severity Score (n=53,312). Patients were initially divided into two groups: those managed with a PAC (n=1,933) and those managed without a PAC (n=51,379). Chi-square and Student's t-test analysis were utilized to explore group differences in mortality. In a second analysis, groups were stratified by base deficit, Injury Severity Score, and age to further explore the influence of injury severity on PAC use and mortality. In addition, a logistic regression model was developed to assess the relationship between PAC use and mortality after adjusting for differences in age, mechanism, injury severity, injury pattern, and co-morbidities. Overall, patients managed with a PAC were older (45.8+/-21.3 yrs), had higher Injury Severity Score (28.4+/-13.5), worse base deficit (-5.2+/-6.5), and increased mortality (PAC, 29.7%; no PAC, 9.8%; p<.001). However, after stratification for injury severity, PAC use was associated with a survival benefit in four subgroups of patients. Each of these groups had advanced age or increased injury severity. Specifically, patients aged 61-90 yrs, with arrival base deficit worse than -11 and Injury Severity Score of 25-75, had a decrease in the risk of death with PAC use (odds ratio, 0.33; 95% confidence interval, 0.17-0.62). Three additional groups had a similar decrease in the risk of death with PAC use: odds ratio, 0.60 (95% confidence interval, 0.43-0.83), 0.82 (95% confidence interval, 0.44-1.52), and 0.63 (95% confidence interval, 0.40-0.98). Logistic regression analysis demonstrated a decreased mortality when a PAC was used in the management of patients with the following severe injury characteristics: Injury Severity Score of 25-75, base deficit of less than -11, or age of 61-90 yrs (odds ratio, 0.593; 95% confidence interval, 0.437-0.805). CONCLUSIONS: Trauma patients managed with a PAC are more severely injured and have a higher mortality. However, severely injured patients (Injury Severity Score, 25-75) who arrive in severe shock, and older patients, have an associated survival benefit when managed with a PAC. This is the first study to demonstrate a benefit of PAC use in trauma patients.

    Title The Risk of Reinjury in Relation to Time Since First Injury: a Retrospective Population-based Study.
    Date April 2006
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Trauma victims have been found to be at increased risk for reinjury. Determining the risk factors for reinjury and the temporal pattern of reinjury risk can help with targeting of intervention strategies for preventing trauma recurrence. METHODS: We performed a retrospective, population-based study in Washington State from 1986 to 2001. Individuals aged 15 to 64 years who were hospitalized for injury were followed for 5 years for hospitalization or death because of reinjury. Poisson regression was used to determine the rate ratio of reinjury, compared with the baseline rate of injury, as a function of time since first injury. Among those injured, proportional hazards regression was used to determine risk factors for reinjury. RESULTS: The risk of subsequent injury hospitalization or death was elevated 2.59-fold (95% CI: 2.50, 2.68) during the period from 6 months to 5 years after the initial injury. Excluding from analysis the first 6 months after initial injury, the risk of reinjury was highest at 4.10 (95% CI: 3.83, 4.40) between 6 and 12 months after first injury, and then declined to approximately 2.0-fold increased risk above baseline by 30 months. Individuals with self-inflicted injuries were found to be at particularly high risk of reinjury [Hazard Ratio (HR) 2.60 (2.21, 3.05)]. Increasing age, male gender, and alcohol use were also associated with increased reinjury risk. Any injury to the face, spine, and extremities were associated with a decreased risk of reinjury. CONCLUSIONS: Reinjury risk is highest soon after injury, but persists for at least 5 years after initial injury. Periodic interventions through 5 years after injury, particularly in certain high-risk groups, might have lasting effects on reinjury rates.

    Title Confronting the Obstacles to Screening and Interventions for Alcohol Problems in Trauma Centers.
    Date March 2006
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    Despite the demonstrated clinical benefits and decreased risks of injury recurrence, brief alcohol interventions are still not routine practice in trauma centers. Although alcohol and drugs play a significant role in trauma, few trauma specialists are aware of the potential benefits of interventions because alcohol treatment specialists have not widely disseminated their findings to other specialties. This article addresses some key obstacles that must be overcome to facilitate brief interventions as routine trauma practice. Included are discussions on training, cost and reimbursement factors, responsibility of the trauma surgeon, patient privacy and confidentiality issues, insurance laws and regulations, needed collaboration with partners, and research priorities and funding.

    Title Alcohol Interventions in Trauma Centers: the Opportunity and the Challenge.
    Date March 2006
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Title Effect of the Uniform Accident and Sickness Policy Provision Law on Alcohol Screening and Intervention in Trauma Centers.
    Date February 2006
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Alcohol screening and intervention in trauma centers are widely recommended. The Uniform Accident and Sickness Policy Provision Law (UPPL) exists in most states, and allows insurers to refuse payment for treatment of injuries in patients with a positive alcohol or drug test. This article analyzed the UPPL's impact on screening and reimbursement, measured the knowledge of legislators about substance use problems in trauma centers, and determined their opinions about substance use-related exclusions in insurance contracts for trauma care. METHODS: A nationwide survey of members of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma was conducted. A separate survey of legislators who are members of the Senate, House, or Assembly and serve in some leadership role on committees responsible for insurance in their state was also performed. RESULTS: Ninety-eight trauma surgeon and 56 legislator questionnaires were analyzed. Surgeons' familiarity with the UPPL was limited; only 13% believed they practiced in a UPPL state, but 70% actually did. Despite lack of knowledge of the statute, 24% reported an alcohol- or drug-related insurance denial in the past 6 months. This appeared to affect screening practices; the majority of surgeons (51.5%) do not routinely measure blood alcohol concentration, even though over 91% believe blood alcohol concentration testing is important. Most (82%) indicated that if there were no insurance barriers, they would be willing to establish a brief alcohol intervention program in their center. Legislators were aware of the impact of substance use on trauma centers. They overwhelmingly agreed (89%) that alcohol problems are treatable, and 80% believed it is a good idea to offer counseling in trauma centers. As with surgeons, the majority (53%) were not sure whether the UPPL existed in their state, but they favored prohibiting alcohol-related exclusions by a 2:1 ratio, with strong bipartisan support. CONCLUSIONS: The study documents strong support for screening and intervention programs by both trauma surgeons and legislators. Surgeons experience alcohol-related insurance denials but are not familiar with the state law that sanctions this practice. A majority of legislators are also not familiar with the UPPL but support elimination of insurance statutes that allow exclusion of coverage for trauma care on the basis of intoxication.

    Title Alcohol Screening and Intervention in Trauma Centers: Confidentiality Concerns and Legal Considerations.
    Date February 2006
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Title Laparoscopy is Sufficient to Exclude Occult Diaphragm Injury After Penetrating Abdominal Trauma.
    Date May 2005
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Occult diaphragm injury after penetrating thoracoabdominal injury can be difficult to diagnose and can remain occult for months to years. Delayed diagnosis is associated with the risk of hernia formation, strangulation, and high morbidity and mortality. Although laparoscopy has been proposed as a means of evaluating the diaphragm in these patients, prior studies did not include a confirmatory procedure or did not report long-term follow-up. Thus, true sensitivity and specificity remain unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the sensitivity and specificity of laparoscopy for the detection of diaphragm injury after penetrating thoracoabdominal trauma. We hypothesized that laparoscopy alone is sufficient to exclude diaphragm injury after penetrating thoracoabdominal trauma. METHODS: We conducted a prospective case series of 34 hemodynamically normal asymptomatic patients with thoracoabdominal penetrating injuries. All patients underwent diagnostic laparoscopy to evaluate the diaphragm for the presence of injury. All patients then underwent confirmatory celiotomy (n = 30) or video-assisted thoracoscopy (n = 4). RESULTS: All patients were men between the ages of 18 and 54 years. There were 37 stab wounds and 1 gunshot wound. The mean lowest preoperative systolic blood pressure recorded was 120 +/- 18 mm Hg. Penetrating injuries were stratified by anatomic location (anterior, 18; posterior, 8; flank, 9; not specified, 3). There were 7 true-positive, 30 true-negative, no false-positive, and 1 false-negative result. Specificity, sensitivity, and negative predictive value were 100%, 87.5%, and 96.8%, respectively. The single missed injury occurred in a patient with hemoperitoneum from associated splenic injury that obscured the diaphragm and warranted celiotomy. CONCLUSION: In asymptomatic hemodynamically normal patients with penetrating thoracoabdominal injury, laparoscopy alone is sufficient to exclude diaphragmatic injury.

    Title Alcohol Interventions for Trauma Patients Treated in Emergency Departments and Hospitals: a Cost Benefit Analysis.
    Date May 2005
    Journal Annals of Surgery
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To determine if brief alcohol interventions in trauma centers reduce health care costs. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Alcohol-use disorders are the leading cause of injury. Brief interventions in trauma patients reduce subsequent alcohol intake and injury recidivism but have not yet been widely implemented. METHODS: This was a cost-benefit analysis. The study population consisted of injured patients treated in an emergency department or admitted to a hospital. The analysis was restricted to direct injury-related medical costs only so that it would be most meaningful to hospitals, insurers, and government agencies responsible for health care costs. Underlying assumptions used to arrive at future benefits, including costs, injury rates, and intervention effectiveness, were derived from published nationwide databases, epidemiologic, and clinical trial data. Model parameters were examined with 1-way sensitivity analyses, and the cost-benefit ratio was calculated. Monte Carlo analysis was used to determine the strategy-selection confidence intervals. RESULTS: An estimated 27% of all injured adult patients are candidates for a brief alcohol intervention. The net cost savings of the intervention was 89 US dollars per patient screened, or 330 US dollars for each patient offered an intervention. The benefit in reduced health expenditures resulted in savings of 3.81 US dollars for every 1.00 US dollar spent on screening and intervention. This finding was robust to various assumptions regarding probability of accepting an intervention, cost of screening and intervention, and risk of injury recidivism. Monte Carlo simulations found that offering a brief intervention would save health care costs in 91.5% of simulated runs. If interventions were routinely offered to eligible injured adult patients nationwide, the potential net savings could approach 1.82 billion US dollars annually. CONCLUSIONS: Screening and brief intervention for alcohol problems in trauma patients is cost-effective and should be routinely implemented.

    Title The Liver Bag: Report of a New Technique for Treating Severe, Exsanguinating Hepatic Injuries.
    Date March 2005
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Title Gender Differences in the Performance of a Computerized Version of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test in Subcritically Injured Patients Who Are Admitted to the Emergency Department.
    Date February 2005
    Journal Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) has been recommended as a screening tool to detect patients who are appropriate candidates for brief, preventive alcohol interventions. Lower AUDIT cutoff scores have been proposed for women; however, the appropriate value remains unknown. The primary purpose of this study was to determine the optimal AUDIT cutpoint for detecting alcohol problems in subcritically injured male and female patients who are treated in the emergency department (ED). An additional purpose of the study was to determine whether computerized screening for alcohol problems is feasible in this setting. METHODS: The study was performed in the ED of a large, urban university teaching hospital. During an 8-month period, 1205 male and 722 female injured patients were screened using an interactive computerized lifestyle assessment that included the AUDIT as an embedded component. World Health Organization criteria were used to define alcohol dependence and harmful drinking. World Health Organization criteria for excessive consumption were used to define high-risk drinking. The ability of the AUDIT to classify appropriately male and female patients as having one of these three conditions was the primary outcome measure. RESULTS: Criteria for any alcohol use disorder were present in 17.5% of men and 6.8% of women. The overall accuracy of the AUDIT was good to excellent. At a specificity >0.80, sensitivity was 0.75 for men using a cutoff of 8 points and 0.84 for women using a cutoff of 5 points. Eighty-five percent of patients completed computerized screening without the need for additional help. CONCLUSIONS: Different AUDIT scoring thresholds for men and women are required to achieve comparable sensitivity and specificity when using the AUDIT to screen injured patients in the ED. Computerized AUDIT administration is feasible and may help to overcome time limitations that may compromise screening in this busy clinical environment.

    Title Futility of Resuscitation Criteria for the "young" Old and the "old" Old Trauma Patient: a National Trauma Data Bank Analysis.
    Date August 2004
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Increasing geriatric trauma is producing disproportionate use of resources. In burn victims, age and burn extent correlate with mortality, yielding the establishment of criteria for futile resuscitation. Such criteria would be useful to trauma patients and their families in making withdrawal-of-care decisions while reducing resource use. Our objective, therefore, was to identify injury and physiologic parameters that would indicate a high probability of futile resuscitation among geriatric trauma patients. METHODS: Data pertaining to patients greater than or equal to 65 years of age within the National Trauma Databank from 1994 to 2001 were analyzed. Multivariate logistic regression-with mortality as the outcome variable and head, chest, and/or abdominal injury; base deficit; gender; comorbidities; and admission systolic blood pressure (SBP) as covariates-was performed to develop a stratification scheme providing criteria indicative of a high probability of futile resuscitation. RESULTS: There were 76,304 patients with a mean age of 79.4 years. Head, thoracic, and abdominal injury; age; gender; comorbidities; admission SBP; and base deficit were associated with mortality. Patients with severe chest and/or abdominal injury, moderate to severe head injury, admission SBP less than 90 mm Hg, and significant base deficit had mortalities approaching 100%. Older patients with modest shock and mild to moderate head injury admitted with severe chest and/or abdominal injury had a less than 5% chance of survival. CONCLUSION: Geriatric trauma patients with severe chest and/or abdominal trauma with moderate shock and mild to moderate head injury have an exceedingly low probability of survival. These data support early withdrawal of care in these individuals.

    Title Comparison of Trauma Center Patient Self-reports and Proxy Reports on the Alcohol Use Identification Test (audit).
    Date June 2004
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: There has been increased attention on identifying alcohol problems among individuals admitted to trauma centers. Reports about patients' drinking made by significant others represent one potential method to address both concerns about the validity of patients' self-reports and the need to have a proxy measure for trauma patients who are unable to provide information about their drinking behavior. The present study evaluated the level of agreement between trauma patients' self-report and proxy report on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). METHODS: The study consisted of patients admitted to a Level I trauma center who screened positive for potential alcohol problems, who completed the AUDIT and National Institute of Mental Health Diagnostic Interview Schedule (Form III-R), and who had a collateral who provided proxy information about the patient. Proxy informants completed the AUDIT on the basis of their knowledge and perception of patients' drinking behavior, as well as a checklist of alcohol-related problems experienced by the patients in the 30 days before admission. RESULTS: Patient- and proxy-completed AUDIT total and subscale scores were highly correlated and did not differ from one another except for the dependence subscale, with proxies indicating a higher number of symptoms than did patients. A relatively high percentage of agreement (77.5%) was found overall in the classification of patients as having or not having problem drinking on the basis of self-report and proxy AUDITs; 56.4% of both sources indicated a drinking problem and 21.1% of both agreed that there was not a problem. Patients classified as having problem drinking on self-report AUDITs were rated by proxies as having significantly higher levels of hazardous drinking, alcohol-related problems, and dependence symptoms than patients whose AUDIT classified their drinking as nonproblematic. CONCLUSION: The relative comparability of proxy- and patient-completed AUDIT scores and classifications suggests that patient and proxy reports corroborate and, in cases of trauma patients' inability to provide self-reports, may serve as proxies for patients' reports of drinking.

    Title National Survey of Trauma Surgeons' Use of Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention.
    Date December 2003
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: A variety of policy groups have recommended that screening and brief interventions (BIs) for alcohol disorders be widely implemented in health care settings. This study was conducted to determine the current status of screening and intervention programs in trauma centers and to evaluate specific barriers to implementation of screening and BIs. The hypotheses tested were that surgeons who support screening and brief interventions would be less likely to endorse the purported barriers to screening and intervention and would have a better understanding of the concept of brief interventions. METHODS: A postal survey of 711 members of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma and the Western Trauma Association was performed to assess current screening and treatment practices, along with barriers to screening and intervention. Two logistic regression models were constructed to determine which factors result in support for screening and which factors predict support of BIs to help determine potentially modifiable issues to facilitate implementation. RESULTS: Three hundred eighty-three surgeons responded, 315 of whom are currently practicing trauma. The majority of surgeons (267 [83%]) agreed that a trauma center is an appropriate setting for addressing harmful alcohol consumption. Over two thirds frequently check a blood alcohol concentration, with one third of the group reporting that they always do. The use of formal screening questionnaires was much less frequent (25%). Nearly one half (49%) understood the concept of BIs. However, the majority report that less than one half of patients with a suspected alcohol problem at their center have their alcohol problem addressed while they are hospitalized. Several barriers to screening and BIs were identified. Although only 2% thought screening and counseling would significantly increase health care costs, 7% thought screening was too time consuming and 13.6% thought it would compromise patient confidentiality. Screening was perceived to threaten reimbursement by 27%. Over half (55%) stated their facility is currently performing screening. One third (36%) stated their facility is currently performing BIs. Logistic regression revealed that surgeons who support screening were those who thought patients with alcohol problems should be referred for professional alcohol treatment (odds ratio [OR], 6.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.3-18.2) and that a trauma center is an appropriate setting for addressing alcohol disorders (OR, 6.2; 95% CI, 2.7-14.2). In the model of support for BIs, understanding the concept of BIs (OR, 5.7; 95% CI, 3.1-10.5) and lack of the belief that screening and intervention would increase cost too much (OR, 0.14; 95% CI, 0.02-0.96) were the most potent predictors of support for BIs. CONCLUSION: Trauma surgeons are screening for alcohol disorders more frequently than they were 5 years ago. Barriers to screening are not as prevalent as previously reported. Support for implementing screening and intervention programs depends on whether surgeons believe trauma centers are appropriate sites for addressing alcohol disorders, whether surgeons believe patients with alcohol problems should be referred for professional treatment, whether surgeons understand the concept of brief interventions, and whether they believe the cost constraints are not prohibitive. Widespread education in the effectiveness and methods of BIs would facilitate implementation of alcohol screening and intervention programs to help reduce recurrent alcohol-related injury.

    Title High-flow Venovenous Rewarming for the Correction of Hypothermia in a Canine Model of Hypovolemic Shock.
    Date November 2002
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Continuous arteriovenous rewarming (CAVR) has been shown to effectively reverse hypothermia; however, its use is limited in the setting of profound hypotension. We have evaluated the effectiveness of high-flow venovenous rewarming (HFVR) using bypass for the correction of hypothermia in a hypotensive canine model and compared these results to CAVR. METHODS: Eight dogs, randomly assigned to either HFVR or CAVR, were cooled to a core temperature of 29.5 degrees C and then bled to a mean arterial pressure of 55 mm Hg. Rewarming was then initiated and the time required for blood, liver parenchyma, and esophageal (core) temperature to reach 36 degrees C was recorded. RESULTS: Mean flow rates were 1,536 +/- 667 mL/min for HFVR and 196 +/- 35 mL/min for CAVR (p = 0.007). Time in minutes to rewarm to 36 degrees C for the HFVR versus the CAVR groups, respectively, were as follows: blood, 12 +/- 2 versus 99 +/- 19; liver, 21 +/- 3 versus 102 +/- 16; and esophageal, 25 +/- 6 versus 125 +/- 17 (all < 0.001). CONCLUSION: HFVR is an effective method for rapid rewarming in a profoundly hypothermic, hypotensive animal model and may have clinical utility in patients presenting with hypovolemia/hypotension complicated by hypothermia.

    Title Low-dose Ethanol Alters the Cardiovascular, Metabolic, and Respiratory Compensation for Severe Blood Loss.
    Date October 2002
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Compensation for hemorrhage and shock requires coordination of responses and sufficient physiologic reserve capacity of the cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, and neuroendocrine systems. Intake of ethanol (EtOH) is known to degrade physiologic response to stress. The purpose of this study was to investigate how acute EtOH exposure changes responses to severe blood loss, shock, and resuscitation. METHODS: Conscious male Duncan Hartley guinea pigs were given an intraperitoneal injection of either EtOH (1 g/kg) or an equal volume of water 30 minutes before controlled hemorrhage (60% blood volume), resuscitated after 30 minutes of hypovolemia with a lactated Ringer's solution volume equal to that of the shed blood volume, and observed for 24 hours. Hemodynamic (heart rate, arterial blood pressure), clinical laboratory (arterial blood gases, glucose, lactate, hematocrit), and metabolic gas exchange (oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production) indicators of shock were monitored. RESULTS: Of the animals that survived 24 hours, changes in arterial pH and lactate were significantly greater in the experiment group than in the control group. Mortality at 24 hours was 77% in the experiment group (EtOH-treated) and 42% (p = 0.39) in the control group (water-treated). CONCLUSION: Acute EtOH exposure, with blood EtOH concentration similar to legal intoxication levels, limits physiologic reserve during hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation. In survivors of shock and resuscitation, compensation is compromised and physiologic reserve is adversely affected by acute EtOH intake.

    Title Near-infrared Spectroscopy Versus Compartment Pressure for the Diagnosis of Lower Extremity Compartmental Syndrome Using Electromyography-determined Measurements of Neuromuscular Function.
    Date August 2001
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Compartmental syndrome (CS) is difficult to diagnose in intensive care unit patients. Compartment perfusion pressure (CPP) is an invasive, indirect measure of ischemia. Near-infrared spectroscopy is noninvasive, and directly measures ischemia by transmitting light through tissues at wavelengths that react with hemoglobin to provide percent tissue oxygen saturation (Sto(2)). Animal studies demonstrate that Sto(2) is superior to CPP for detecting CS. However, there are no studies in humans comparing Sto(2) with CPP. We hypothesized that Sto(2) can reliably detect CS, and is superior to CPP. METHODS: CS was induced in 15 human volunteers using a standard calf compression model. At 30-minute intervals, compression was increased to reduce Sto(2) from baseline (86% +/- 4%) to 60%, 40%, 20%, and < 10%, with simultaneous recording of CPP. Outcome variables included deep peroneal nerve conduction assessed by electromyography, cutaneous peroneal nerve sensitivity using Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments, and pain (visual analog scale). RESULTS: Both Sto(2) and CPP significantly correlated with all ischemia outcome variables (p < 0.001). Receiver operating characteristic curves of deep peroneal nerve conduction demonstrated that Sto(2) had higher sensitivity than CPP for detecting > 50% block. For example, when specificity was 83% for Sto(2) and 84% for CPP, sensitivity was 85% versus 56%, respectively (p = 0.02). When specificity for both was 72%, sensitivity was 94% for Sto(2) versus 76% for CPP (p = 0.04). CONCLUSION: In intensive care unit patients who cannot alert physicians to symptoms, near-infrared spectroscopy may help clinicians to avoid delayed or unnecessary prophylactic fasciotomy, and provides the benefits of a continuous, noninvasive monitoring technique.

    Title Trauma Critical Care.
    Date June 2001
    Journal American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
    Excerpt

    The surgical approach to the most injured patients has changed in recent years. Many patients arrive in the intensive care unit with problems that in the past would have been definitively addressed in the operating room, or led to the patient's demise due to continued attempts to complete all surgical procedures, despite deteriorating physiology. As a result, the triad of hypothermia, acidosis, and coagulopathy, along with the frequent complication of abdominal compartment syndrome, are critical factors that require correction in the intensive care unit.Prompt correction is necessary not only to allow expeditious completion of required surgical procedures, but because this triad, unless interrupted, invariably leads to death during resuscitation.

    Title Current Clinical Options for the Treatment and Management of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
    Date April 2000
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Title Alcohol Problems in Women Admitted to a Level I Trauma Center: a Gender-based Comparison.
    Date February 2000
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Male patients constitute such a large proportion of trauma patients that most studies of alcohol problems in trauma patients have been carried out with clinical data largely or totally contributed by male patients. It may be incorrect to assume that the nature of alcoholism in women and men is identical, or that the size of the problem among women is small, eliminating the need to specifically study female patients. The purpose of this study was to perform a gender-based comparison of alcohol problems in trauma patients. METHODS: Admitted injured patients underwent routine screening, including a blood alcohol concentration, serum gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, and the Short Michigan Alcohol Screening Test. A random sample of screen positive women and men underwent a comprehensive alcohol use and psychosocial assessment, and the results were compared by gender. RESULTS: The screen-positive rate was higher for men, 51% versus 34% (p < 0.01). However, screen-positive women and men had similar problem severity as reflected by mean blood alcohol concentration (162 mg/dL vs. 142 mg/dL, p = 0.16) and Short Michigan Alcohol Screening Test scores (4.6 vs. 5.0, p = 0.32). The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, NIMH-DIS, and Severity of Alcohol Dependence Data form showed that female trauma patients with alcohol problems have the same severity of dependence symptoms as men. However, women were significantly more likely to have liver dysfunction, depression, psychological distress, and recent physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. CONCLUSION: Alcohol problems are more common in male trauma patients, but women with alcohol problems are just as severely impaired, have at least as many adverse consequences of alcohol use as their male counterparts, and have more evidence of alcohol-related physical and psychological harm.

    Title Screening Trauma Patients for Alcohol Problems: Are Insurance Companies Barriers?
    Date February 2000
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Impairment caused by alcohol is the leading risk factor for trauma. However, many physicians do not screen for alcohol use because of concerns about confidentiality and denial of insurance coverage. The purpose of this study was to examine objectively the confidentiality issues and insurance statutes affecting alcohol screening in trauma centers. METHODS: We conducted a survey of insurance commissioners in all 50 states to determine the prevalence of statutes allowing denial of coverage for injuries sustained while impaired due to alcohol, reviewed state insurance laws, and reviewed federal regulations protecting the confidentiality of alcohol information in patients seeking alcohol treatment. RESULTS: Special federal regulations protecting confidentiality of alcohol screening data depend on how such information is acquired and do not routinely cover trauma patients. Concerns about screening on insurance coverage are valid in 38 states. CONCLUSION: Segregating information about alcohol use in the medical record and assigning designated chemical dependency counselors to screen all trauma patients would provide confidentiality of alcohol information under current federal regulations, allowing denial of release of such information, except under subpoena.

    Title Detection of Acute Alcohol Intoxication and Chronic Alcohol Dependence by Trauma Center Staff.
    Date January 2000
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Trauma patients with acute alcohol intoxication or chronic alcohol dependence are at greater risk for morbidity and mortality. We hypothesized that relying on clinical suspicion to detect acute alcohol intoxication and chronic alcohol dependence in trauma patients is inaccurate, influenced by injury factors, and biased by race, gender, age, and socioeconomic status. METHODS: Trauma patients were screened with a blood alcohol concentration and with the Short Michigan Alcohol Screening Test and CAGE questionnaire. Before screening, physicians and emergency department nurses were asked whether the patient was acutely intoxicated (blood alcohol concentration > 100 mg/ dL) or had a chronic alcohol problem. Sensitivity, specificity, positive, and negative predictive values were determined by comparing responses with blood alcohol concentration, Short Michigan Alcohol Screening Test, and CAGE questionnaire results, stratified by injury and demographic factors. RESULTS: Clinical evaluations were obtained on 462 patients. Overall, 23% of acutely intoxicated patients were not identified by physicians. The miss rate increased to one third in severely injured, chemically paralyzed, or intubated patients. Specificity was also poor. Patients with a negative blood alcohol concentration were more likely to be falsely suspected of intoxication if they were either young, male, perceived as disheveled, uninsured, or having a low income (p < 0.05). Staff identified < 50% of patients with a positive Short Michigan Alcohol Screening Test or CAGE, and falsely identified 26% of patients as alcoholic. CONCLUSIONS: Formal alcohol screening should be routine because clinical detection of acute alcohol intoxication and dependence is inaccurate. Screening should also be routine to avoid discriminatory bias attributable to patient characteristics.

    Title Near-infrared Spectroscopy: a Potential Method for Continuous, Transcutaneous Monitoring for Compartmental Syndrome in Critically Injured Patients.
    Date November 1999
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) noninvasively measures tissue O2 saturation (StO2), and has been proposed as a means of monitoring for compartmental syndrome (CS). However, its specificity in hypoxemic, hypotensive patients with severely reduced systemic oxygen delivery has not been tested. We hypothesized that NIRS can differentiate muscle ischemia caused by shock from ischemia caused by CS. METHODS: Nine swine were anesthetized and an NIRS probe placed over the anterolateral compartment of the hind leg. Compartment pressure was also measured. A nerve stimulator was placed over the peroneal nerve, and CS was defined as loss of dorsiflexion twitch. At 30-minute sequential intervals, mean arterial blood pressure was reduced to 60% of baseline (phlebotomy), fraction of inspired oxygen was reduced to 0.15, and compartment pressure was increased in one limb by interstitial albumin infusion until CS occurred. RESULTS: Hypotension combined with hypoxemia reduced StO2 from 82+/-4% to 66+/-10%. CS further reduced StO2 to 16+/-12% (p<0.0001). During hypotension + hypoxemia + CS, control limb StO2 was 70+/-15% (p = 0.0002 vs. experimental limb). CONCLUSION: NIRS detects muscle ischemia caused by CS despite severe hypotension and hypoxemia, making it potentially useful in critically injured, unstable patients.

    Title Alcohol Interventions in a Trauma Center As a Means of Reducing the Risk of Injury Recurrence.
    Date November 1999
    Journal Annals of Surgery
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: Alcoholism is the leading risk factor for injury. The authors hypothesized that providing brief alcohol interventions as a routine component of trauma care would significantly reduce alcohol consumption and would decrease the rate of trauma recidivism. METHODS: This study was a randomized, prospective controlled trial in a level 1 trauma center. Patients were screened using a blood alcohol concentration, gamma glutamyl transpeptidase level, and short Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (SMAST). Those with positive results were randomized to a brief intervention or control group. Reinjury was detected by a computerized search of emergency department and statewide hospital discharge records, and 6- and 12-month interviews were conducted to assess alcohol use. RESULTS: A total of 2524 patients were screened; 1153 screened positive (46%). Three hundred sixty-six were randomized to the intervention group, and 396 to controls. At 12 months, the intervention group decreased alcohol consumption by 21.8+/-3.7 drinks per week; in the control group, the decrease was 6.7+/-5.8 (p = 0.03). The reduction was most apparent in patients with mild to moderate alcohol problems (SMAST score 3 to 8); they had 21.6+/-4.2 fewer drinks per week, compared to an increase of 2.3+/-8.3 drinks per week in controls (p < 0.01). There was a 47% reduction in injuries requiring either emergency department or trauma center admission (hazard ratio 0.53, 95% confidence interval 0.26 to 1.07, p = 0.07) and a 48% reduction in injuries requiring hospital admission (3 years follow-up). CONCLUSION: Alcohol interventions are associated with a reduction in alcohol intake and a reduced risk of trauma recidivism. Given the prevalence of alcohol problems in trauma centers, screening, intervention, and counseling for alcohol problems should be routine.

    Title Reasons Why Trauma Surgeons Fail to Screen for Alcohol Problems.
    Date June 1999
    Journal Archives of Surgery (chicago, Ill. : 1960)
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Alcohol screening and intervention have been recommended as routine components of trauma care but are rarely performed. HYPOTHESIS: An association exists between current screening and counseling practices and the trauma surgeon's knowledge, attitude, and perceived role and responsibility toward alcohol problems. PARTICIPANTS: Random-sample survey (n = 241) of members of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Reported screening and counseling practices. RESULTS: Fifty-four percent of respondents screened 25% or fewer patients, while only 29% screened most patients. The most common reason for not screening was "lack of time." Most (76%) were not familiar with the most common clinically used screening questionnaires, and 83% reported no training in alcohol screening. Screening was more likely if attending physicians perceived a major responsibility for screening (P<.001). Nonscreeners were twice as likely to state screening was "not what I was trained to do" and more frequently believed screening offends patients (P =.001). Independent predictors of screening were perceived major role responsibility (odds ratio [OR], 2.35; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.38-4.01) and confidence in screening ability (OR, 1.96; 95% CI, 1.05-3.67) and counseling ability (OR, 2.27; 95% CI, 1.34-3.85). Eighty-eight percent of respondents would be willing to devote time to training if shown that counseling is effective. CONCLUSIONS: Lack of screening and counseling appears to be due to cognitive factors, not lack of motivation. Skills on how to screen and counsel for alcohol abuse should be taught to trauma surgeons, because a strong correlation exists between screening and confidence in skills. There is a need for education regarding results of effective intervention trials in medical settings.

    Title Monitoring for Compartmental Syndrome Using Near-infrared Spectroscopy: a Noninvasive, Continuous, Transcutaneous Monitoring Technique.
    Date May 1999
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: The diagnosis of compartmental syndrome (CS) may be delayed because current monitoring techniques are invasive and intermittent and the compartment pressure (CP) that predicts ischemia is variable. Fiber-optic devices using near-infrared (NIR) wavelength reflection can determine the redox state of light-absorbing molecules and have been used to monitor venous hemoglobin saturation to detect ischemia during low-flow states. The purpose of this study was to determine if NIR spectroscopy can provide continuous, transcutaneous, noninvasive monitoring for muscle ischemia in an animal model of CS. METHODS: Nine swine were anesthetized and a 20-mm NIR probe was placed over the anterolateral compartment of the hind leg to provide continuous determination of muscle oxyhemoglobin level. Needles were inserted into the compartment to measure CP. A nerve stimulator was placed over the peroneal nerve to induce dorsiflexion twitch. Albumin was infused into the muscle to incrementally increase CP until there was complete loss of dorsiflexion, then after 20 minutes fasciotomy was performed. RESULTS: All animals lost dorsiflexion at CP of 43+/-14 mm Hg. There was a significant inverse correlation between CP and oxyhemoglobin level (r = -0.78; p < 0.001) and a correlation between oxyhemoglobin and perfusion pressure (mean arterial pressure minus CP) (r = 0.66; p < 0.001). Redox state was a more consistent predictor of twitch loss than perfusion pressure. CONCLUSION: Muscle oxyhemoglobin level measured by NIR spectroscopy strongly reflected CP, perfusion pressure, and loss of dorsiflexion twitch. Currently available portable NIR devices may provide the benefit of continuous, noninvasive monitoring for CS. Further studies to determine the role of this technology in the detection of compartmental syndrome are warranted.

    Title Imprecision in Lower "inflection Point" Estimation from Static Pressure-volume Curves in Patients at Risk for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
    Date July 1998
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Static pressure-volume (PV) curves have been promoted as a tool for selecting positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) by identifying a lower "inflection point" (Pflex) from these curves. Their visual interpretation is subjective and difficult, however, particularly with subtle changes in the slope of the curves. This study was designed to examine the physician-to-physician variability in estimating the lower Pflex from these curves. METHODS: Static PV curves for eight patients were obtained within 24 hours of admission. Five intensivists and one respiratory therapist independently estimated the lower Pflex from these curves. RESULTS: Pflex estimates for individual patients were highly variable, ranging from 5 to 9 cm H2O. This variability was not attributable to a single discordant estimate, nor was a single physician responsible for consistently high or low estimates. CONCLUSION: Static PV curve interpretation with current methods imprecisely estimates the lower inflection point and is of limited usefulness in PEEP selection.

    Title Incidence of Infectious Complications Associated with the Use of Histamine2-receptor Antagonists in Critically Ill Trauma Patients.
    Date February 1998
    Journal Annals of Surgery
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To determine the impact of histamine2 (H2)-receptor antagonist use on the occurrence of infectious complications in severely injured patients. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Some previous studies suggest an increased risk of nosocomial pneumonia associated with the use of H2-receptor blockade in critically ill patients, but other investigations suggest an immune-enhancing effect of H2-receptor antagonists. The purpose of this study was to determine whether H2-receptor antagonist use affects the overall incidence of infectious complications. METHODS: Patients enrolled in a randomized trial comparing ranitidine with sucralfate for gastritis prophylaxis were examined for all infectious complications during their hospitalization. Data on the occurrence of pneumonia were prospectively collected, and other infectious complications were retrospectively obtained from the medical record. The relative risk of infectious complications associated with ranitidine use and total infectious complications were analyzed. RESULTS: Of 98 patients included, the charts of 96 were available for review. Sucralfate was given to 47, and 49 received ranitidine. Demographic factors were similar between the groups. Ranitidine use was associated with a 1.5-fold increased risk of developing any infectious complication (37 of 47 vs. 26 of 47; 95% confidence interval, 1.04 to 2.28). Infectious complications totaled 128 in the ranitidine-treated group and 50 in the sucralfate-treated group (p = 0.0014). These differences remained after excluding catheter-related infections (p = 0.0042) and secondary bacteremia (p = 0.0046). CONCLUSIONS: Ranitidine use in severely injured patients is associated with a statistically significant increase in overall infectious complications when compared with sucralfate. These results indicate that ranitidine should be avoided where possible in the prophylaxis of stress gastritis.

    Title Is Hypothermia in the Victim of Major Trauma Protective or Harmful? A Randomized, Prospective Study.
    Date November 1997
    Journal Annals of Surgery
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this randomized, prospective clinical trial was to determine whether hypothermia during resuscitation is protective or harmful to critically injured trauma patients. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Hypothermia has both protective and harmful clinical effects. Retrospective studies show higher mortality in patients with hypothermia; however, hypothermia is more common in more severely injured patients, which makes it difficult to determine whether hypothermia contributes to mortality independently of injury severity. There are no randomized, prospective treatment studies to assess hypothermia's impact as an independent variable. METHODS: Fifty-seven hypothermic (T < or = 34.5 C), critically injured patients requiring a pulmonary artery catheter were randomized to a rapid rewarming protocol using continuous arteriovenous rewarming (CAVR) or to a standard rewarming (SR) control group. The primary outcome of interest was first 24-hour blood product and fluid resuscitation requirements. Other comparative analyses included coagulation assays, hemodynamic and oxygen transport measurements, length of stay, and mortality. RESULTS: The two groups were well matched for demographic and injury severity characteristics. CAVR rewarmed significantly faster than did SR (p < 0.01), producing two groups with different amounts of hypothermia exposure. The patients who underwent CAVR required less fluid during resuscitation to the same hemodynamic goals (24,702 mL vs. 32,540 mL, p = 0.05) and were significantly more likely to rewarm (p = 0.002). Only 2 (7%) of 29 patients who underwent CAVR failed to warm to 36 C and both died, whereas 12 (43%) of 28 patients who underwent SR failed to reach 36 C, and all 12 died. Patients who underwent CAVR had significantly less early mortality (p = 0.047). CONCLUSION: Hypothermia increases fluid requirements and independently increases acute mortality after major trauma.

    Title Practical Guidelines for Performing Alcohol Interventions in Trauma Centers.
    Date March 1997
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    Nearly 50% of trauma patients are injured while under the influence of alcohol; however, addressing alcohol problems is not considered a routine component of trauma care. A public health approach to trauma prevention should include attention to underlying risk factors in the same way that advice regarding smoking cessation is offered in adult respiratory medicine clinics, and blood pressure, cholesterol, dietary, and exercise advice is provided in coronary care units. The Department of Health and Human Services, in its recent report to Congress, stated that efforts to reduce death and disability from injuries must be combined with efforts to reduce alcohol abuse, and called for an increase in the use of alcohol interventions in trauma patients. According to the National Academy of Sciences, the responsibility to provide counseling for patients with uncomplicated cases of mild to moderate alcohol abuse lies not with specialized alcohol treatment centers, but with physicians and other health care staff in general hospital settings trained to provide brief interventions. This paper provides practical guidelines for the administration of alcohol interventions that are suitable for trauma center use, and that have documented efficacy in reducing alcohol consumption.

    Title Near-infrared Spectroscopy: Continuous Measurement of Cytochrome Oxidation During Hemorrhagic Shock.
    Date February 1997
    Journal Critical Care Medicine
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: Mitochondrial cytochrome a,a3 redox shifts can be determined by near-infrared wavelength reflection. Since near-infrared wavelengths penetrate skin and bone, a potential exists to noninvasively measure mitochondrial oxidation using this phenomenon. The purpose of this study was to compare conventional parameters of resuscitation with regional measurements of spectroscopically derived cytochrome redox state in a hemorrhagic shock model. DESIGN: Prospective, controlled laboratory investigation. SETTING: Animal research laboratory of a university medical center. SUBJECTS: New Zealand white rabbits (n = 23), weighing 2 to 3 kg. INTERVENTIONS: After anesthesia and instrumentation, the subjects underwent laparotomy with placement of near-infrared spectroscopy probes on the stomach, liver, kidney, and hamstring muscle. Baseline measurements were obtained, and phlebotomy was used to reduce cardiac output by 60% for 30 mins. Animals were resuscitated with shed autologous blood and crystalloid to reach baseline cardiac output (0.9%), and were monitored for an additional 60 mins. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Significant correlations between mitochondrial cytochrome a,a3 redox state, cardiac output, and oxygen delivery were observed throughout shock and resuscitation. However, gastric cytochrome oxidation did not recover after shock, despite systemic evidence of adequate resuscitation (p < .05). CONCLUSIONS: Resuscitation from severe hemorrhagic shock may not uniformly restore cellular oxygenation, despite normalization of traditional parameters of resuscitation. Direct monitoring of cytochrome oxidation may be useful in identifying regional areas of dysoxia.

    Title Limiting Computed Tomography to Patients with Peritoneal Lavage-positive Results Reduces Cost and Unnecessary Celiotomies in Blunt Trauma.
    Date October 1996
    Journal Archives of Surgery (chicago, Ill. : 1960)
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To determine if computed tomographic (CT) scanning can be used to identify patients with blunt trauma, positive results of diagnostic peritoneal lavage (DPL), and a stable hemodynamic status who could be managed safely and cost-effectively without celiotomy. DESIGN: Patients with blunt trauma who required an abdominal evaluation underwent DPL. Patients with a red blood cell count greater than 10(11)/L (10(5)/mm3) on lavage then underwent CT. Patients with solid organ injury alone, as detected on CT scan, were observed; those with evidence of hollow viscus injury underwent celiotomy. RESULTS: Sixty-seven hemodynamically stable patients had a red blood cell count greater than 10(11)/L on DPL; 38 patients underwent subsequent CT scanning, and 29 underwent immediate celiotomy in violation of the protocol. Eleven patients in the protocol group ultimately underwent celiotomy. Overall, there were significantly fewer nontherapeutic celiotomies performed in the protocol group (2/38 vs 9/29, P < .01). There were no deaths in either group. Because DPL is less expensive than CT, limiting CT to patients with DPL-positive results and hemodynamic stability reduced the charges associated with abdominal evaluation by $580,594 over a period of 2 years. CONCLUSION: Limiting CT to the evaluation of patients with DPL-positive results and hemodynamic stability is safe, reduces charges, and results in a lower rate of nontherapeutic celiotomies compared with DPL alone.

    Title Permissive Hypercapnia in Trauma Patients.
    Date December 1995
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    The use of a normal tidal volume in patients with progressive loss of alveolar airspace may increase inspiratory pressure and overdistend remaining functional alveoli. Permissive hypercapnia (PH) is a ventilator management technique that emphasizes control of alveolar pressure, rather than PCO2. The purpose of this study was to determine if the use of PH is associated with an improved outcome from adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Over a 2-year period, 39 trauma patients were treated for ARDS. Permissive hypercapnia was used in 11, and the remaining patients were treated conventionally. Demographics and risk factors were well matched in PH patients and controls. The duration of mechanical ventilation was greater in PH patients [49.2 +/- 15.2 vs. 20.8 +/- 10 days (p < 0.01)]. Survival was also greater in the PH group [91% vs. 48% (p < 0.01)]. A reduction in intensity of mechanical ventilation is associated with a prolongation of ventilatory support and an improved outcome from ARDS.

    Title Treatment of Hypothermia in Trauma Victims: Thermodynamic Considerations.
    Date October 1995
    Journal Journal of Intensive Care Medicine
    Excerpt

    The relatively high specific heat of the human body makes hypothermia very difficult to treat. Although there are many treatment methods available, most evaluations of rewarming techniques are based on clinically observed rewarming rates, and they do not take into account initial core temperature, ambient temperature, the patient's own heat production, the effects of anesthesia, paralytic agents, and other variables. A heat transfer model is proposed that simulates the flow of heat through the body of a hypothermic patient. The model uses first principles involved in heat transfer and thermodynamics to describe the effects of currently available rewarming techniques. A commercially available routine is used to solve the equations, which also include any heat exchange between the patient's body and the environment, as well as metabolic heat generation as a function of time and core temperature. This thermodynamic analysis of rewarming, based on computer modeling of heat transfer, provides a scientific basis on which to establish guidelines for appropriate selection of treatment strategies for hypothermia, and it indicates that direct blood warming or infusion of warm intravenous fluids are the most effective rewarming techniques.

    Title Alcohol Interventions in Trauma Centers. Current Practice and Future Directions.
    Date October 1995
    Journal Jama : the Journal of the American Medical Association
    Excerpt

    Nearly half of all trauma beds are occupied by patients who were injured while under the influence of alcohol. Alcoholism plays such a significant role in trauma that efforts to reduce injury recurrence are unlikely to be successful if it remains untreated. An injury requiring hospitalization creates a unique opportunity to intervene and to motivate patients to alter their drinking behavior, thereby making trauma centers ideal sites to implement an alcohol screening, intervention, and referral program. However, despite emphasis on injury control and prevention, little has been done to incorporate alcohol intervention programs into care of the injured patient. Effective means of intervention exist that are consistent with the time, financial, and staffing constraints of trauma centers, and they should be implemented.

    Title Advances in the Management of Hypothermia.
    Date April 1995
    Journal The Surgical Clinics of North America
    Excerpt

    Many believe that the consequence of hypothermia is an orderly decrease in metabolism. However, oxygen consumption is increased, except when anesthetics and neuromuscular blocking agents are used to block the thermoregulatory response. This may be detrimental in patients with a bleeding diathesis as a result of the impairment of platelet function, activation of the fibrinolytic cascade, and inhibition of clotting enzyme kinetics that are associated with cooling of the blood. To date, a potential benefit of hypothermia in trauma patients has not been identified. Based on current data, every attempt should be made to prevent heat loss from occurring and to aggressively treat hypothermia once it has occurred.

    Title The Impact of Hypothermia on Dilutional Coagulopathy.
    Date July 1994
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    The control of hemorrhage in hypothermic patients with platelet and clotting factor depletion is often impossible. Determining the cause of coagulopathic bleeding (CB) will enable physicians to appropriately focus on rewarming, clotting factor repletion, or both. Objective: To determine the contribution of hypothermia in producing CB and ascertain if simultaneous hypothermia and dilutional coagulopathy (DC) interact synergistically. Method: Prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, and platelet function were determined at assay temperatures of 29 degrees to 37 degrees C on normal and critically ill, noncoagulopathic (NC) individuals. Dilutional coagulopathy was created using buffered saline and the assays repeated. Results: Hypothermic assay at < or = 35 degrees C significantly prolonged coagulation times. The effect of hypothermia on NC and DC samples was not different. Conclusion: Assays performed at 37 degrees C underestimate coagulopathy in hypothermic patients. The effect of hypothermia on NC and DC is not different, indicating the lack of a synergistic effect. Normalization of clotting requires both rewarming and clotting factor repletion.

    Title The Intravascular Oxygenator (ivox): Preliminary Results of a New Means of Performing Extrapulmonary Gas Exchange.
    Date October 1993
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    Conventional management of adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with high minute ventilation, positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP), and increased fractional inspired oxygen (FIO2) concentrations may worsen pulmonary injury. The intravascular oxygenator (IVOX) is a device made up of several hundred gas permeable hollow fibers that are inserted into the vena cava by femoral venous cutdown. Flow of gas through each fiber adds O2 and removes CO2 from the bloodstream. The purpose of this study was to determine if the IVOX significantly reduces the level of mechanical ventilatory support in ARDS patients. The IVOX was inserted in nine patients, and aborted in one because of technical complications. The IVOX increased PaO2 and reduced PaCO2, but the quantity of gas transfer was not sufficient to allow a reduction in PEEP, FIO2, or minute ventilation. Insertion of the IVOX decreased cardiac index and systemic oxygen delivery despite maximum fluid and inotropic support. Mortality was 80%. Although some gas exchange occurs, the current device does not allow a significant reduction in the level of mechanical ventilatory support and adversely affects systemic oxygen transport.

    Title Acute Ethanol Intoxication Increases the Risk of Infection Following Penetrating Abdominal Trauma.
    Date June 1993
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    Acute alcohol (ETOH) intoxication as a risk factor for infection in trauma victims to our knowledge has not been previously reported. To determine if ETOH intoxication increases infection risk we examined data from 365 patients with penetrating abdominal trauma who were enrolled in a multi-center antibiotic study. Ninety-four patients sustained an injury to a hollow viscus. To separate acute from chronic ETOH effects, infections were divided into two categories: (1) trauma related; infections caused by bacterial contamination at the time of injury, while blood alcohol level (BAL) was elevated. (2) nosocomial; infections caused by bacteria acquired during hospital stay, after BAL had normalized. A BAL > or = 200 mg/dL was associated with a 2.6-fold increase in trauma-related infections. There was no association between BAL and subsequent nosocomial infection. Since infection rates for intoxicated patients were not higher after BAL had normalized, acute rather than chronic effects of ETOH appear to be responsible.

    Title Enteral Nutrition with Simultaneous Gastric Decompression in Critically Ill Patients.
    Date March 1993
    Journal Critical Care Medicine
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: Early enteral nutrition is an important adjunct in the care of critically ill patients. A double-lumen gastrostomy tube with a duodenal extension has been reported to enable early enteral feeding with simultaneous gastroduodenal decompression. We tested the ability of this device to achieve these goals in critically ill patients. DESIGN: Noncomparative, descriptive case series. SETTING: Surgical intensive care unit in a university hospital. PATIENTS: Fifteen consecutive critically ill patients, who, at the time of laparotomy, were assessed likely to need long-term nutritional support and gastric decompression, underwent tube placement. Mean age was 47 +/- 21 yrs. Mean Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE II) and Therapeutic Intervention Scores were 15 +/- 7.3 (SD) and 29 +/- 10.2, respectively, and the mean Injury Severity Score of 11 trauma patients in the group was 27 +/- 7.4. INTERVENTIONS: Correct tube positioning was verified by radiograph or endoscopy. METHODS: Caloric and protein requirements, nutritional parameters, and problems encountered with the device were recorded. The correlation between the volume of feeding port input and suction port output was noted, and this correlation was considered significant if r2 was > or = .5. RESULTS: Only three (20%) of 15 patients reached full enteral nutritional support via the enteral route. None of these patients achieved this level of nutritional support within the first postoperative week. In 67% of the patients, large quantities of enteral feeding solution appeared in the gastroduodenal suction port effluent. When feeding port input was plotted against effluent volume, a correlation coefficient of > .71 (r2 = > or = .5) was found in 40% of the patients. Other complications included: a) excessive gastroduodenal drainage requiring fluid/electrolyte replacement in eight (53.3%) patients; and b) skin ulceration at the tube entrance site in seven (46.7%) patients. CONCLUSIONS: These data do not support the use of this device for early enteral feeding and simultaneous gastric decompression in critically ill patients.

    Title Nutritional Assessment Using a Pulmonary Artery Catheter.
    Date October 1992
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    To determine if oxygen consumption (VO2) derived from the Fick equation (FE) can be used to determine energy expenditure (EE), 29 paired indirect calorimetry (IC) and FE VO2 determinations were obtained. The Weir equation was used to calculate EE from the FE VO2 value. There was a strong correlation between the methods (r = 0.82, p less than 0.001). Mean EE by IC and FE was 2460 +/- 539 and 2372 +/- 787 kcal/day, respectively, a difference of 88 +/- 467 kcal/day. A single IC determination is often used to guide nutrition for several days. To evaluate this practice, FE and IC determinations were repeated in 8 patients. There was a 19% difference in EE between initial and follow-up IC, which was identical to the mean difference between paired FE and IC measurements. FE can be used to estimate EE, and is as accurate as using a single IC reading to predict EE on subsequent days.

    Title Continuous Arteriovenous Rewarming: Rapid Reversal of Hypothermia in Critically Ill Patients.
    Date April 1992
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    Hypothermia in critically ill patients can be difficult to treat with standard rewarming (SR) techniques. We developed a rewarming method that is significantly faster than SR. Percutaneously placed femoral arterial and venous catheters were connected to the inflow and outflow side of a countercurrent fluid warmer to create a fistula through the heating mechanism (CAVR). Over a 10-month period 34 hypothermic (temperature less than 35 degrees C) patients were treated. Eighteen received SR only; CAVR was added to SR in the remaining 16 patients. Both groups were similar in APACHE II, Injury Severity, and Acute Physiology scores, prewarming blood and fluid requirements, and incidence of coagulopathy. Hypothermia resolved in 39 minutes with CAVR vs. 3.23 hours with SR (p less than 0.001). This was associated with an improved survival after moderately severe injury (p = 0.04), and a significant reduction in blood and fluid requirements, organ failures, and length of ICU stay.

    Title Continuous Arteriovenous Rewarming: Report of a New Technique for Treating Hypothermia.
    Date September 1991
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    Survival is rare after major trauma if core temperature falls below 32 degrees C. Available rewarming methods are often ineffective. We utilized arterial and venous catheters to create a circulatory fistula through the heating mechanism of a modified commercially available counter-current fluid warmer to achieve simple, rapid extracorporeal rewarming.

    Title Whipple Procedure for Trauma: is Duct Ligation a Safe Alternative to Pancreaticojejunostomy?
    Date June 1991
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    The use of pancreatic duct ligation (DL) during a Whipple procedure for trauma has been reported but not analyzed. We reviewed 13 cases of DL and compared the results with that reported for the Whipple procedure for trauma with pancreaticojejunostomy (PJ). The mortality rate of DL was 53.8%. Pancreatitis occurred in three cases (23.1%) and caused one death. Pancreatic fistulae occurred in 50% of patients surviving two or more days after DL. No long-term survivor developed overt diabetes mellitus. Malabsorption occurred in 50% of the long-term survivors of DL. When the DL and PJ groups were compared no statistically significant difference could be found in either mortality or pancreatic morbidity. The 46.2% survival rate for DL warrants its consideration as a technique available to trauma surgeons when faced with an unstable patient unable to tolerate further operative therapy.

    Title Improved Outcome with Early Fixation of Skeletally Unstable Pelvic Fractures.
    Date February 1991
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    Thirty-seven consecutive patients with unstable pelvic fractures were divided into two groups: Group 1 (July 1981 to December 1984; n = 18), when early fixation was not routinely used, and Group 2 (January 1985 to March 1988; n = 19), when early fixation was performed unless contraindicated. Hospital stay decreased by 37.8% in Group 2 (p = 0.04). Of Group 1 patients, 60% were disabled for at least 6 months versus 15.7% in Group 2 (p = 0.001), and 45% were discharged to a rehabilitation facility versus 26.4% in Group 2. Group 1 had more complications, 1.3 per patient, versus 1.0. Patients in Group 2 (undergoing early fixation) required 27.2% fewer units of blood than those in Group 1 in whom fracture surgery was delayed. Survival was better in Group 2, 100% versus 83.3% (p = 0.06). Early pelvic fracture fixation reduces hospital stay, long-term disability, and may result in fewer complications, decreased blood loss, and better survival.

    Title Continuous Arteriovenous Rewarming: Experimental Results and Thermodynamic Model Simulation of Treatment for Hypothermia.
    Date January 1991
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    We evaluated a technique for treating hypothermia that uses extracorporeal circulation but does not require heparin or pump assistance. Hypothermia to 29.5 degrees C was induced in eight anesthetized dogs, and thermistors placed in the pulmonary artery, liver, bladder, esophagus, rectum, muscle, and skin. Four experimental animals were rewarmed by creating a fistula which connected arterial and venous femoral lines to an interposed counter-current heat exchanger. External rewarming was used in four controls. Bleeding time (BT), coagulation profile (PT, PTT, TT), and cardiac output (CO) were measured during rewarming. Core temperature (T) rose significantly faster with CAVR (0.00001). Average time to rewarming was 45 min, vs. 4 hrs in controls. Haptoglobin, platelet, fibrinogen, and fibrin split product levels were unaffected. Continuous arteriovenous rewarming (CAVR) improved T, CO, BT, and coagulation profile faster than any method yet reported not requiring heparin or cardiac bypass. The application of CAVR in post-traumatic hypothermia warrants further investigation.

    Title Major Injury As a Unique Opportunity to Initiate Treatment in the Alcoholic.
    Date January 1989
    Journal American Journal of Surgery
    Excerpt

    A prospective study was performed on the use of a standard outpatient intervention technique to induce inpatient alcoholic trauma patients into accepting alcoholism treatment. Interventions were performed on 17 trauma patients. All patients who underwent intervention accepted treatment and were immediately transferred to a 28-day inpatient treatment facility. Alcoholic trauma patients are highly susceptible to intervention for their disease. We found that intervention performed upon discharge from the trauma service successfully initiates alcoholism treatment.

    Title Motivation of Trauma Patients to Stop Smoking After Admission to the Emergency Department.
    Date
    Journal Addictive Behaviors
    Excerpt

    Every smoker should be offered smoking cessation treatment when they present for clinical care. The Readiness to Change-Smokers (RTC-S) questionnaire and the Heidelberg Smoking History (HSH) are brief questionnaires that divide patients into three stages. The purpose of this study was to prospectively compare the performance of each questionnaire at identifying patients who will successfully quit smoking within one year of Emergency Department (ED) discharge. Out of 1292 injured ED patients nearly half (n = 599, 46.4%) were identified as current smokers. Both questionnaires were given to all 599 subjects, and used to divide patients into three stages. At 12-months postdischarge 306 patients (51.1%) were contacted to determine smoking status. Patients were similarly classified by both tests in only 36% of cases. Concordance between tests was poor (kappa = 0.33). The RTC-S classified fewer patients as ready to quit (A = 13% vs. 22.2%). At 12 month follow-up, 55 patients (17.9%) had stopped smoking. The HSH was more successful to predict quitters. Multivariate logistic regression with respect to smoking cessation resulted in significant impact of HSH (p = 0.024).


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