Geriatric blunt multiple trauma: improved survival with early invasive monitoring

J Trauma. 1990 Feb;30(2):129-34; discussion 134-6.


Geriatric trauma survival rates are reported to approach 85%, but no series to our knowledge has included a predominance of multiply injured patients. In 1985, we treated 60 patients more than 65 years of age who sustained blunt multiple trauma, excluding burns and minor falls. A pedestrian-motor vehicle mechanism, initial BP less than 150 mm Hg, acidosis, multiple fractures, and head injuries all predicted mortality. To investigate this, in 1986, we began invasive monitoring in all patients with any of these risk factors and modified this in 1987 to emergent monitoring, postponing all but the most critical diagnostic studies. All patients included were hemodynamically stable after initial evaluation. Attempts were made to optimize all patients with volume, inotropes, and afterload reduction as needed. There was no difference between 1986 and 1987 in patient age, injury severity, or per cent of patients requiring operation. In 1986, mean time from ED admission to monitoring was 5.5 hours. Eight of 15 patients had an initial cardiac output (CO) less than 3.5 L/M and/or mixed venous saturation (MVO2) less than 50%. All developed progressive pump failure despite therapy and died within 24 hours. The other seven had an initial CO between 3.4-5.5 L/M, but five had an MVO2 less than 50%. All augmented their CO with therapy over 6-12 hours to a mean CO of 6.8 L/M and resolved their MVO2, but six died from MOF. Survival was 7%. In 1987-88, we reduced time to monitoring to 2.2 hours by limiting diagnostic tests. Thirteen of 30 patients treated had an initial CO less than 3.5 L/M.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiac Output
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Physiologic*
  • Multiple Trauma / mortality*
  • Multiple Trauma / physiopathology
  • Multiple Trauma / therapy
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / mortality*
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / physiopathology
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / therapy