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Operating Room Resuscitations

Moore, Rick Rick.Moore at TriadHospitals.com
Fri Feb 1 14:03:33 GMT 2008

Finally someone who lives in the real world!! 

-----Original Message-----
From: trauma-list-bounces at trauma.org
[mailto:trauma-list-bounces at trauma.org] On Behalf Of Mike Smertka
Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2008 6:07 PM
To: Trauma &amp, Critical Care mailing list
Subject: Re: Operating Room Resuscitations

  Just from reading this forum for a while I think the EM may have
overgrown the trauma role because surgery is not always readily willing
or available. I have seen where it has taken 45+ minutes for a surgeon
to wander down to the ED. (A&E) Not too long ago on this forum there was
a discussion of how to get surgeons to take trauma call. It seems
logical the ED would grow beyond their traditional role when they could
not rely on somebody else. I assume all of the surgeons here are
interested in trauma, and do not suffer from such apathy responding to a
trauma page. But even in designated "trauma" centers (in my experience
level IIIs) surgery just doesn't show up in time to be much help (if at
all). Figure: If you get a trauma page, you have no interest in trauma
and work in a community facility, if you delay your response, there is
high likelyhood the ER physician will initiate a transfer. So if The ED
gets a patient, it takes 1/2 hour to assess, stabilize and even get the
transport going, another 10-20 minutes for a helicopter or a ground
unit, it seems reasonable an EM will be taking care of them for the
better part of an hour. 
  Obviously in a specialized trauma center the idea of a critical
patient in the ED so long sounds insane. But I think sometimes trauma
specialists are their own worst enemy. I have never met a trauma surgeon
in person who takes a regular interest in prehospital education or
activities. I have never met one in person who shows up to the ED
meetings. So when there is talk of what equipment to buy/need, or
protocol on what to do, etc. the major player is missing, so the ED does
what it thinks is right. Take it one step further, how long has it been
since anyone here has argued the merits of rapidly infused chrystalloid?
But on page 76 of 7th edition ATLS: it states that bleeding from
external wounds is usually controlled by direct pressure..... and that a
PASG should not delay fluid therapy and surgery may be needed. (lets
face it, that sounds like the priority is fluid, not surgery) on the
very next page in bold print: "initial warmed fluid given as rapidly as
 it then gives the dose and finishes with "This often requires pumping
devices (mechanical or manual) to fluid administration sets." Is it a
wonder there are a bunch of rapid infusers, or prolonged ED time trying
to get an IV line?
  The last time I attended ATLS, the course director (whom I hope to
someday be as skilled and knowledgable as)  opened with the phrase : "I
am not here to teach you how to take care of a trauma patient." So if
trauma experts don't teach that, how do nonexperts who are in the chain
learn? Moreover, he raised the point "If you cannot close a chest,
please do not open it." I think a very valid point, because if you let
EMs open the chest and they have no access to a surgeon or ICU that can
deal with the aftermath, what has really been done? I won't even start
on BTLS or ITLS. But also consider: If EMs are the ones teaching
prehospital providers, what you constantly teach, you ingrain in your
own brain. The overall goal then becomes getting to a doctor at the
hospital. which to prehospital means the ED. Ths also doesn't touch on
places where the amount of resources the ED has, far outstrips the ICU.
Obviously there is no substitute for an OR, but what is the surge
capacity of  an OR or ICU compared to the surge capacity of an ED? I
figure they are different in different places, so no one system could
possibly be "better."
  I focused the discussion on trauma, but I don't see other critical
illnesses as any different for this.
  once agan thanks for listening to my musings. I am not trying to take
sides, but to bring sides together.
EM has an important role to play in every hospital, but how much should
they paly in major trauma or critical illness? Has the role of EM grown
too far beyond immediate care?

Mark F

----- Original Message ----
From: Matthew Reeds
To: trauma-list at trauma.org
Sent: Thursday, 31 January, 2008 12:05:49 PM
Subject: Operating Room Resuscitations

I agree Errington. I would in fact go further by saying that the ICU/HDU
is THE ONLY place for patients who need resuscitation but DON'T need
the operating room (unless they are going to interventional radiology
for embolisation etc.) 
Further to Ken's comment on the role of the A&E/ED department "waving to
the patient", this I fully agree with and wholeheartedly support.
However I would say that the A&E does actually have ONE useful purpose -
for the receptionist to book the patient into the hospital. They can
also ensure that the order for massive transfusion packs is made
IMMEDIATELY for them to be sent STRAIGHT to theatre/OR for the patient
(for those hospitals that implement the 1:1 transfusion protocol.) I'll
happily conceed that this is in fact two purposes.
KMATTOX at aol.com KMATTOX at aol.com 
Thu Jan 31 03:26:29 GMT 
BINGO. Great point. For any trauma patient that is not going to be 
able to be dismissed from the ER following minor treatment for a minor

Kenneth L. Mattox, MD

In a message dated 1/30/2008 9:23:48 P.M. Central Standard Time, 
errington at erringtonthompson.com writes:

The ICU is a great place for patients who need resuscitation but DON'T
the operating room. 

In a message dated 1/30/2008 9:23:48 P.M. Central Standard Time, 
errington at erringtonthompson.com writes:
I would add that those patient that don't need to go to the OR but still
need significant resuscitation maybe better in the ICU than the ER or
anywhere else. For the most part trauma surgeons run their own ICU's.
These are the nurses that have heard your lectures. They come to your
conferences. They know what you want. 

The ICU is a great place for patients who need resuscitation but DON'T
the operating room. 


Errington C. Thompson, MD, FACS, FCCM
Trauma/Surgical Critical Care
Author - Letter to America
Asheville, NC

-----Original Message-----
From: trauma-list-bounces at trauma.org [mailto:trauma-list-bounces at
On Behalf Of Ronald Gross
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 6:52 AM
To: trauma-list at trauma.org
Subject: Re: Operating Room Resuscitations

Yeah - what HE said! ;-)

Matt, you and I are on the same page here - but you said it far better
I did - Thanks!

Take care,

>>> Matthew Reeds 1/30/2008 5:27 AM >>>

Mike & Ron,
When pontificating over the treatment that I give to any patient, I
try to ask what I would want for myself and apply this to give the best
treatment to each patient. I would NOT want to be in an A&E/ED
room but would "rather" be in either theatre/OR, ITU/HDU, the ward or
radiology (depending upon my injury) having the proper treatment that I
need. This is what I would strive for with any of my patients.
Therefore I see NO reason for the patient to remain in A&E/ED for
resuscitation. As Ron says, if the patient needs surgery, then off to
theatre/OR they go. If they need non-operative resuscitation, then off
ITU or HDU they go for the care required. [This frees up theatre/OR
resources and time as Mike says if surgery is not required for better
utilisation.] Radiology resuscitation is ONLY required for THERAPEUTIC
intervention such as angio for pelvic haemorrhage and stabilisation (if
extra-peritoneal pelvic packing approach is NOT used etc.)
>From my experience, there is NO need/role for A&E/ED resuscitation - if
patient is that sick, then they need to be elsewhere (e.g. theatre/OR,
ITU/HDU etc.)
Even for major haemorrhage that requires surgery, these UNSTABLE
SHOULD be rapidly transported to theatre/OR for surgery for emergency
treatment. I would NOT NORMALLY advocate A&E/ED operating UNLESS
necessary which has happened to me on a couple of occasions [such as
arrest secondary to IVC transection at the bifurcation from multiple
wounds from a bayonet in a 19 year old male.] He had been "down" for 3
when he arrived in A&E by paramedics/EMT and there was no way we could
transfer him to theatre/OR on the top floor (11th floor) and at the
end of the hospital to save him - a fault of the hospital design.
we performed a laparotomy in the A&E/ED resus room and got him back with
RAPID abdominal packing and then transferred to theatre just as rapidly.
However, this should be a RARE occasion and ONLY be absolutely necessary
imminently save life rather than be the norm. In essence this comes down
clinical acumen, experience and ability of the clinician to use sound
judgment and I agree with Mike, that if the patient doesn't need
then theatre/OR is not the best place to resuscitate the patient - they
should be in the ITU/HDU instead.

Surgery U.K.
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