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Am J Emerg Med. 1996 Mar;14(2):218-25.

Resuscitation of the critically ill in the ED: responses of blood pressure, heart rate, shock index, central venous oxygen saturation, and lactate.

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Department of Critical Care Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, OH, USA.


To describe the simultaneous responses of systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR), shock index (SI = HR/SBP), central venous oxyhemoglobin saturation (ScvO2), and arterial blood lactate concentration (Lact) to resuscitation of critically ill patients in the emergency department (ED), an observational descriptive study was conducted in the ED of an urban teaching hospital. Thirty- six patients admitted from the ED to the medical intensive care unit were studied. Vital signs were measured immediately on arrival to the ED (phase 1). After initial resuscitation and stabilization, ie, HR between 50 and 120 beats/min and MAP between 70 and 110 mm Hg (phase 2), ScvO2 and Lact were measured and additional therapy was given in the ED to increase ScvO2 to > 65% and decrease Lact to < 2 mmol/L, if needed (phase 3). SBP, DBP, MAP, HR. SI, ScvO2, and Lact were measured. Initial resuscitation increased SBP from 103 +/- 39 to 118 +/- 29 mm Hg (P < .05) and MAP from 67 +/- 35 to 82 +/- 22 mm Hg (P < .05) but did not affect DBP (53 +/- 35 to 63 +/- 22 mm Hg, P = NS), HR (110 +/- 26 to 110 +/- 22 beats/min, P = NS) or SI (from 1.3 +/- 0.7 to 1.0 +/- 0.3, P =NS) from phase 1 to phase 2. ScvO2 remained < 65% and/or Lact > 2.0 mmol/L in 31 of 36 patients at phase 2, and additional therapy was required. Lact was decreased (from 4.6 +/- 3.8 to 2.6 +/- 2.5 mmol/L, P < .05) and ScvO2 was increased (from 52 +/- 18 to 65 +/- 13%, P < .05) without significant additional changes in SBP, DBP, MAP, HR, or SI at phase 3. The in-hospital mortality was 14% for this group of patients. It was concluded that additional therapy is required in the majority of critically ill patients to restore adequate systemic oxygenation after initial resuscitation and hemodynamic stabilization in the ED. Additional therapy to increase ScvO2 and decrease Lact may not produce substantial responses in SBP, DBP, MAP, HR, and SI. The measurement of ScvO2 and Lact can be utilized to guide this phase of additional therapy in the ED.

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