Background: Teamwork is a critical element of trauma resuscitation. Assessment tools such as T-NOTECHS (Trauma NOn-TECHnical Skills) exist, but correlation with patient outcomes is unclear. Using emergency department thoracotomy (EDT), we sought to describe T-NOTECHS scores during resuscitations. We hypothesized that patients undergoing EDT whose resuscitations had better scores would be more likely to have return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). Methods: Continuously recording video was used to review all captured EDTs over a 24-mo period. We used a modification of the validated T-NOTECHS instrument to measure five domains on a 3-point scale (1 = best, 2 = average, 3 = worst). A total T-NOTECHS score was calculated by one of three reviewers. The primary outcome was ROSC. ROSC was defined as an organized rhythm no longer requiring internal cardiac compressions. Associations between variables and ROSC were examined using univariate regression. Results: Sixty-one EDTs were captured. Nineteen patients had ROSC (31%) and 42 (69%) did not. The median T-NOTECHS score for all resuscitations was 8 [IQR 6-10]. As demographic and injury data (age, gender, mechanism, signs of life) were not associated with ROSC in univariate analysis, they were not considered for inclusion in a multivariable regression model. The association between overall T-NOTECHS score and ROSC did not reach statistical significance, but examination of the individual components of the T-NOTECHS score demonstrated that, compared to resuscitations that had “average” (2) or “worst” (3) scores on “Assessment and Decision Making,” resuscitations with a “best” score were 5 times more likely to lead to ROSC. Conclusions: Although the association between overall T-NOTECHS scores and ROSC did not reach statistical significance, better scores in the domain of assessment and decision making are associated with improved rates of ROSC in patients arriving in cardiac arrest who undergo EDT. Level of evidence: Level IV Therapeutic/Care Management.
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