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J Emerg Trauma Shock. 2019 Jul-Sep;12(3):203-208. doi: 10.4103/JETS.JETS_120_18.

Predictive Value of Point-of-care Lactate Measurement in Patients Meeting Level II and III Trauma Team Activation Criteria that Present to the Emergency Department: A Prospective Study.

Author information

1
Department of Emergency Medicine, CHRISTUS Health/Texas A and M Health Science Center, Corpus Christi, TX, USA.
2
Department of Acute Care Surgery, Trauma and Surgical Critical Care, Christus Spohn Hospital, Corpus Christi, TX, USA.

Abstract

Background:

The aim of this study was to investigate the utility of early point-of-care (POC) lactate levels to help predict injury severity and ultimate emergency department (ED) disposition for trauma patients meeting Level II and III activation criteria.

Methods:

This was a blinded, prospective cohort study including a convenience sample of patients meeting our triage criteria for Level II or III team activation with stable vital signs. Bedside lactate samples were collected during the secondary survey. Clinical care/disposition was at the discretion of physicians who remained blinded to the bedside lactate result. An elevated lactate was defined as >2.0 mmol/L.

Results:

Ninety-six patients were in the study group; mean age was 41 ± 17 years, 26% were female, 57% were Hispanic, and 60% admitted. We found no difference in initial mean POC lactate levels (mmol/L) for admitted versus discharged groups and Injury Severity Score (ISS) ≥9 versus ISS <9 groups (3.71 [95% confidence interval (CI): 3.1-4.4] vs. 3.85 [95% CI: 2.8-4.9]; P = 0.99 and 3.54 [95% CI: 2.7-4.4] vs. 3.89 [95% CI: 3.1-4.6]; P = 0.60, respectively). Performance characteristics of early elevated lactate levels were poor both to predict need for hospital admission (sensitivity = 77% [65%-87%]; specificity = 26% [13%-43%]; negative predictive value [NPV] = 43% [27%-61%]; and positive predictive value [PPV] = 62% [56%-67%]) and to identify patients with ISS scores ≥9 (sensitivity = 76% [59%-89%]; specificity = 24% [14%-37%]; NPV = 65% [47%-80%]; and PPV = 36% [30%-41%]).

Conclusions:

For Level II/III, we found that early bedside lactate levels were not predictive of ISS ≥9 or the need for admission.

Level of Evidence:

III (diagnostic test).

KEYWORDS:

Bedside testing; lactate; point of care; trauma

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