Outcome in 757 severely injured patients with traumatic cardiorespiratory arrest

Resuscitation. 2007 Nov;75(2):276-85. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2007.04.018. Epub 2007 Jun 15.


Background: Resuscitation of traumatic cardiorespiratory arrest patients (TCRA) is generally associated with poor outcome, however some authors report survival rates of more than 10% in blunt trauma patients. The purpose of this investigation was to determine predictive factors for mortality in trauma patients having received external chest compressions (ECC).

Patients and methods: Twenty thousand eight hundred and fifteen patients from the Trauma Registry of the German Trauma Society were analysed (mean ISS=24.0). Inclusion criteria were ISS>/=16 and available information on ECC either on-scene and/or during trauma room treatment. Included into the Trauma Registry were only patients with ECC and transportation into a hospital. Patients declared dead on-scene without transportation to a hospital were not recorded in the data base. A Logistic regression was performed to find out predictive factors for mortality.

Results: Ten thousand three hundred and fifty nine patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria. N=757 patients received ECC, 415 prehospital, 538 during trauma room (TR) treatment and 196 prehospital and in-hospital. Blunt trauma occurred in 93.2%, mean age was 40.3 and median ISS was 41.0. 23.2% of the patients were treated with a chest tube, 5.7% had a tension pneumothorax and 10.2% underwent emergency thoracotomy. The overall survival rate was 17.2%. 9.7% of the TCRA patients with ECC achieved good recovery or moderate disability (Glasgow outcome scale>/=4). Logistic regression showed thromboplastin time lower than 50% to be the strongest predictor for non-survival (OR 5.2, 95% CI 2.3-11.9), followed by massive blood transfusion of more than 10 units of packed red blood cells (OR 4.8, 95% CI 2.0-11.5), on-scene blood pressure of 0 (OR 4.3, 95% CI 1.6-11.3), age over 55 (OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.1-7.3), base excess lower than -8 (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.2-5.9). The insertion of a chest tube on-scene could be detected as a factor significantly increasing the probability of survival (OR 0.3, 95% CI 0.13-0.8).

Conclusions: Prehospital chest tube insertion was found to be a strong predictor for survival. On-scene chest decompression of TCRA patients is recommended in case of the decision to start with ECC. Based on our data, resuscitation after severe trauma seems to be more justified than the current guidelines state.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Heart Arrest / etiology
  • Heart Arrest / mortality
  • Heart Arrest / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Trauma Severity Indices
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wounds and Injuries / complications
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*