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Am J Surg. 2012 Aug;204(2):187-92. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2012.06.001.

A decade of experience with a selective policy for direct to operating room trauma resuscitations.

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Division of Trauma, Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Portland, OR, USA.



The standard paradigm for acutely injured patients involves evaluation in an emergency department (ED). Our center has employed a policy for bypassing the ED and proceeding directly to the operating room (OR) based on prehospital criteria.


This is a retrospective analysis of all trauma patients admitted "direct to OR" (DOR) over 10 years. Demographics, injury patterns, prehospital, and in-hospital data were analyzed.


There were 1,407 patients admitted as DOR resuscitations. Almost half (47%) had a penetrating mechanism, and 54% had chest or abdominal injury. The mean Injury Severity Score was 19, with altered mentation (Glasgow coma score [GCS] <9) in 20% and hypotension in 16%. Most patients (68%) required surgical intervention, and 33% required emergency surgery operations (abdominal [70%] followed by thoracic [22%] and vascular [4%]). The median time to intervention was 13 minutes. Mortality was significantly lower than predicted (5% vs 10%). Independent predictors of emergent surgical intervention were a penetrating truncal injury (odds ratio = 9.9), GCS <9 (odds ratio = 1.9), and hypotension (odds ratio = 1.8).


Our DOR protocol identified a severely injured cohort at high risk for requiring surgery with improved observed survival. High-yield triage criteria for DOR admission include a penetrating truncal injury, hypotension, and a severely altered mental status.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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