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Impact of "hypotension on arrival" on required surgical disciplines and usage of damage control protocols in severely injured patients.

BACKGROUND: For trauma patients with subsequent immediate surgery, it is unclear which surgical disciplines are most commonly required for treatment, and whether and to what extend this might depend on or change with "hypotension on arrival". It is also not known how frequently damage control protocols are used in daily practice and whether this might also be related to "hypotension on arrival".

METHODS: A retrospective analysis of trauma patients from a German level 1 trauma centre and subsequent "immediate surgery" between 01/2017 and 09/2022 was performed. Patients with systolic blood pressure > 90 mmHg (group 1, no-shock) and < 90 mmHg (group 2, shock) on arrival were compared with regard to (a) most frequently required surgical disciplines, (b) usage of damage control protocols, and (c) outcome. A descriptive analysis was performed, and Fisher's exact test and the Mann‒Whitney U test were used to calculate differences between groups where appropriate.

RESULTS: In total, 98 trauma patients with "immediate surgery" were included in our study. Of these, 61 (62%; group 1) were normotensive, and 37 (38%, group 2) were hypotensive on arrival. Hypotension on arrival was associated with a significant increase in the need for abdominal surgery procedures (group 1: 37.1 vs. group 2: 54.5%; p = 0.009), more frequent usage of damage control protocols (group 1: 59.0 vs. group 2: 75.6%; p = 0.019) and higher mortality (group 1: 5.5 vs. group 2: 24.3%; p 0.027).

CONCLUSION: Our data from a German level 1 trauma centre proof that abdominal surgeons are most frequently required for the treatment of trauma patients with hypotension on arrival among all surgical disciplines (> thoracic surgery > vascular surgery > neurosurgery). Therefore, surgeons from these specialties must be available without delay to provide optimal trauma care.

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