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Relationship between intensive care complications and costs and initial 24 h events of trauma patients with severe haemorrhage


Background: The correlation between the events occurring in the initial 24 h following traumatic injury and the outcome of patients presenting with hypovolaemic shock is not clear.

Methods: 27 patients who presented to a regional trauma centre with severe hypovolaemic shock were prospectively monitored. Evidence of severe hypovolaemia and shock was noted on admission with a mean systolic blood pressure of 73.8 mm Hg and a mean lactate level of 6.6 mM/l. The patients received a mean of 21.7 litres intravenous fluids during the first 24 h to maintain a mean systolic blood pressure ⩾110 mm Hg and urine output of ⩾50 ml/h. Multiple metabolic and physiological parameters were obtained prospectively and on an almost hourly basis for the first 24 h after admission. Patients were followed throughout their stay in hospital to record outcome, complications, total hospital costs and length of stay.

Results: Using regression and multivariate analysis, adult respiratory distress syndrome was correlated with hypothermia and persistent lactic acidosis (R2 = 0.65, p = 0.005). Coagulopathy was associated with hypothermia (R2 = 0.43, p = 0.04). Length of stay and cost of hospitalisation were highly related to intensive care unit days, hospital-acquired infections and ventilator days (R2 = 0.86, p = 0.03).

Conclusion: The initial 24 h events of trauma patients with haemorrhagic shock may have a significant impact on hospital costs and on complications developing later during hospitalisation.

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