Injury. 2023 Sep 12:111033. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2023.111033. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Resuscitative thoracotomy (RT) is a salvage procedure following traumatic cardiac arrest. We aim to evaluate RT trends and outcomes in adults with cardiac arrest following penetrating trauma to determine the effect on mortality in this population. Further, we aim to estimate the effect of hospital teaching status on the performance of resuscitative thoracotomies and mortality.
METHODS: We reviewed the National Trauma Data Bank (2017-2021) for adults (≥16 years old) with penetrating trauma and prehospital cardiac arrest, stratified by the performance of a RT. We performed multivariable logistic regressions to estimate the effect of RT on mortality and the effect of hospital teaching status on the performance of resuscitative thoracotomies and mortality.
RESULTS: 13,115 patients met our inclusion criteria. RT occurred in 12.7% (n = 1,664) of patients. Rates of RT trended up over the study period. Crude mortality was similar in RT and Non-RT patients (95.6% vs. 94.5%, p = 0.07). There was no statistically significant difference in the adjusted odds of mortality based on RT status (OR 0.82, 95%CI 0.56-1.21). University-teaching hospitals had an adjusted odds ratio of 1.68 (95% CI 1.31-2.17) for performing a RT than non-teaching hospitals. There was no difference in the adjusted odds of mortality in patients that underwent RT based on hospital teaching status.
CONCLUSION: Despite up-trending rates, a resuscitative thoracotomy may not improve mortality in adults with penetrating, traumatic cardiac arrest. University teaching hospitals are nearly twice as likely to perform a RT than non-teaching hospitals, with no subsequent improvement in mortality.