Structured and Systematic Team and Procedure Training in Severe Trauma: Going from ‘Zero to Hero’ for a Time-Critical, Low-Volume Emergency Procedure Over Three Time Periods
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionWorld Journal of Surgery. 2021, 45, 1340-1348. 10.1007/s00268-021-05980-1
Background Resuscitative emergency thoracotomy is a potential life-saving procedure but is rarely performed outside of busy trauma centers. Yet the intervention cannot be deferred nor centralized for critically injured patients presenting in extremis. Low-volume experience may be mitigated by structured training. The aim of this study was to describe concurrent development of training and simulation in a trauma system and associated effect on one time-critical emergency procedure on patient outcome. Methods An observational cohort study split into 3 arbitrary time-phases of trauma system development referred to as ‘early’, ‘developing’ and ‘mature’ time-periods. Core characteristics of the system is described for each phase and concurrent outcomes for all consecutive emergency thoracotomies described with focus on patient characteristics and outcome analyzed for trends in time. Results Over the study period, a total of 36 emergency thoracotomies were performed, of which 5 survived (13.9%). The “early” phase had no survivors (0/10), with 2 of 13 (15%) and 3 of 13 (23%) surviving in the development and mature phase, respectively. A decline in ‘elderly’ (>55 years) patients who had emergency thoracotomy occurred with each time period (from 50%, 31% to 7.7%, respectively). The gender distribution and the injury severity scores on admission remained unchanged, while the rate of patients with signs on life (SOL) increased over time. Conclusion The improvement over time in survival for one time-critical emergency procedure may be attributed to structured implementation of team and procedure training. The findings may be transferred to other low-volume regions for improved trauma care.