Airway management for victims of penetrating trauma: analysis of 50,000 cases.
BACKGROUND: Current recommendations for victims of penetrating trauma include prompt transportation to a trauma center. It remains unclear whether field intubation allows for improvements in mortality rate. METHODS: A retrospective review of the National Trauma Data Bank of adult victims of penetrating trauma was performed. Standard demographic data, method, and location of airway management were examined. Mortality rate was used as the primary outcome measure. RESULTS: There were 56,094 victims of penetrating trauma identified. A total of 1,925 patients required a prehospital airway. The mortality rate for patients who underwent airway management at the scene was 69.2%, compared with a rate of 35.9% for patients in whom airway management was deferred. The mortality rate for patients undergoing surgical airway management at the scene was only 23.9%. CONCLUSIONS: Victims of penetrating trauma who require any airway management have a high mortality rate. The cause of this difference awaits further prospective investigation.
Rajani, RR; Ball, CG; Montgomery, SP; Wyrzykowski, AD; Feliciano, DV
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