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Journal Article


Howell GM, Peitzman AB, Nirula R, Rosengart MR, Alarcon LH, Billiar TR, Sperry JL. J. Trauma 2010; 68(6): 1296-1300.


Division of General Surgery and Trauma, Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


(Copyright © 2010, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins)






OBJECTIVE: Hemorrhage remains a leading cause of early death in injured patients, and definitive control of bleeding remains a fundamental principle of trauma management. Therapeutic interventional radiology (IR) procedures have increasingly become essential in the acute management of traumatic injury. The importance of time to control of hemorrhage for therapeutic IR procedures has not been adequately characterized.

METHODS: A retrospective analysis was performed by using data derived from the National Trauma Data Bank, version 7.1. Inclusion criteria included the following: adult, hypotensive patients, scene admission, patients who underwent early therapeutic IR vascular occlusive procedures within in 3 hours of admission at a level I or II designated trauma center (n = 1,748). Exclusion criteria included intracranial or venous occlusion procedures, patients who underwent any abdominal, thoracic, vascular, or intracranial operative procedures throughout their entire hospital stay. Logistic regression analysis was used to analyze the independent mortality risk associated with DELAY to IR procedures after controlling for important confounders.

RESULTS: The majority of patients who died did so within the first 48 hours from injury (80%). Regression analysis revealed that DELAY to IR was independently associated with more than a twofold higher risk of mortality (odds ratio 2.7, 95% confidence interval 1.6-4.9, p < 0.001). For every hour delay, the risk of mortality increased by 47%. These findings were independent of injury mechanism and most pertinent to level I trauma centers.

CONCLUSION: In hemodynamically unstable trauma patients undergoing therapeutic catheter-based IR procedures, delay to IR was independently associated with more than a twofold higher risk of mortality. These results suggest that therapeutic IR procedures should be performed as expeditiously as possible and held to the same dogma as applied to definitive operative control of hemorrhage.

Language: en


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