Emergency Department Resuscitative Thoracotomy: Indications, surgical procedure and outcome. A narrative review

Paolo Aseni, Francesco Rizzetto, Antonino M. Grande, Roberto Bini, Fabrizio Sammartano, Federico Vezzulli, Maurizio Vertemati

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Emergency Department Thoracotomy (EDRT) after traumatic Cardio-pulmonary Arrest (CPR) can be used to salvage select critically injured patients. Indications of this surgical procedure are widely debated and changed during last decades. We provide the available literature about EDRT in the effort to provide a comprehensive synthesis about the procedure, likelihood of success and patient's outcome in the different clinical setting, accepted indications and technical details adopted during the procedure for different trauma injuries. Methods: Literature from 1975 to 2020 was retrieved from multiple databases and reviewed. Indications, contraindications, total number and outcome of patients submitted to EDRT were primary endpoints. Results: A total number of 7236 patients received EDRT, but only 7.8% survived. Penetrating trauma and witnessed cardiopulmonary arrest with the presence of vital signs at the trauma center are the most favorable conditions to perform EDRT. Conclusions: EDRT should be reserved for acute resuscitation of selected dying trauma patient. Risks of futility, costs, benefits of the surgical procedure should be carefully evaluated before performing the surgical procedure.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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