Emergent Exploratory Thoracotomy with Military Casualties: Contemporary Prehospital Management and Outcome

Ronny Ben-Avi, Alex Sorkin, Roy Nadler, Avishai M. Tsur, Shaul Gelikas, Jacob Chen, Avi Benov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Chest trauma is among the most common types of trauma, corresponding to 10% of trauma patients admitted to hospitals. In the military setting, thoracic trauma was reported as a significant cause of death. With well-timed treatment, chest trauma is regarded as survivable. Emergency thoracotomy (ET) is considered when the patient with trauma to the chest needs immediate resuscitation. Survival rate is reported as low as 1% in some reports and 20% in others. The survival rate depends on injury mechanism, protocols for intervention, and other decompressive procedures. Objectives: To determine parameters that may impact survival of ET. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study to compare prehospital and in-hospital data regarding ET in the emergency department (ED) versus the operating room (OR). Results: Between 2009 and 2017, 6532 casualties presented to the ED; 1125 with trauma to the chest. Fifty-four of those with chest trauma underwent ET in the hospital (4.8%), 22 (41%) in the ED, and 32 (59%) in the OR. The overall mortality of the ET subgroup was 48%. With regard to thoracotomies, 19/22 of patients (86%) who underwent ET in the ED died compared to 2/28 in the OR (13%). Conclusions: Utilizing ET after chest trauma with appropriate clinical indications, well-trained personnel, and prompt transportation poses a significant challenge, but may be associated with better survival than that reported previously with military casualties. Adoption of indications and timed allocation to the OR may improve outcomes with chest trauma casualties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-573
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Volume24
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2022

Keywords

  • army
  • emergent exploratory thoracotomy
  • thoracic surgery
  • trauma

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Emergent Exploratory Thoracotomy with Military Casualties: Contemporary Prehospital Management and Outcome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this