Systemic hypotension is a late marker of shock after trauma: a validation study of Advanced Trauma Life Support principles in a large national sample

Jennifer K. Parks, Alan C. Elliott, Larry M. Gentilello, Shahid Shafi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

85 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Systolic blood pressure is used extensively to triage trauma patients as stable or unstable, contrary to Advanced Trauma Life Support recommendations. We hypothesized that systemic hypotension is a late marker of shock. Methods: The National Trauma Data Bank was queried (n = 115,830). Base deficit was used as a measure of circulatory shock. Systolic blood pressure was correlated with the presence and the severity of base-deficit derangement. Results: Systolic blood pressure correlated poorly with base deficit (r = .28). There was wide variation in systolic blood pressure within each base-deficit group. The mean and median systolic blood pressure did not decrease to less than 90 mm Hg until the base deficit was worse than -20, with mortality reaching 65%. Conclusions: We validated the Advanced Trauma Life Support principle that systemic hypotension is a late marker of shock. A normal blood pressure should not deter aggressive evaluation and resuscitation of trauma patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)727-731
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Volume192
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

Keywords

  • Advanced Trauma Life Support
  • Blood pressure
  • Hemorrhagic shock
  • Hypotension
  • Injuries
  • Metabolic acidosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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