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Anaesthesia. 2018 Dec 5. doi: 10.1111/anae.14501. [Epub ahead of print]

Impact of a physician-led pre-hospital critical care team on outcomes after major trauma.

Author information

1
Northern School of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Newcastle, UK.
2
The Trauma Audit and Research Network, Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health, The University of Manchester, UK.
3
Department of Anaesthesia, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, UK.
4
Great North Air Ambulance Service, Darlington, UK.

Abstract

The deployment of physician-led pre-hospital enhanced care teams capable of critical care interventions at the scene of injury may confer a survival benefit to victims of major trauma. However, the evidence base for this widely adopted model is disputed. Failure to identify a clear survival benefit has been attributed to several factors, including an inherently more severely injured patient group who are attended by these teams. We undertook a novel retrospective analysis of the impact of a regional enhanced care team on observed vs. predicted patient survival based on outcomes recorded by the UK Trauma Audit and Research Network (TARN). The null hypothesis of this study was that attendance of an enhanced care team would make no difference to the number of 'unexpected survivors'. Patients attended by an enhanced care team were more seriously injured. Analysis of Trauma Audit and Research Network patient outcomes did not demonstrate an improved adjusted survival rate for trauma patients who were treated by a physician-led enhanced care team, but confirmed differences in patient characteristics and severity of injury for those who were attended by the team. We conclude that a further prospective multicentre analysis is warranted. An essential prerequisite for this would be to address the current blind spot in the Trauma Audit and Research Network database - patients who die from trauma before ever reaching hospital. We speculate that early on-scene critical care may convert this cohort of invisible trauma deaths into patients who might survive to reach hospital. Routine collection of data from these patients is warranted to include them in future studies.

KEYWORDS:

critical care; outcomes; physician; trauma

PMID:
30516270
DOI:
10.1111/anae.14501

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