[Intensive care medicine aspects of polytrauma]

T Ziegenfuss, A Wiercinski
Zentralblatt Für Chirurgie 1996, 121 (11): 963-78
Multiple trauma often leads to systemic inflammatory reaction and multiple organ dysfunction. Modulation of this response may be promising. Several pharmacologic approaches, such as antioxidants (e.g. superoxidedismutase), calcium channel blockers (e.g. diltiazem), cytokines (e.g. interferone gamma), and modulators of intracellular signal transduction pathways (e.g. pentoxiphylline) have been shown to improve outcome in experimental models and/or in clinical pilot studies. However, up to now no definitive evidence has been provided in prospective, randomized, and blinded "intention to treat" trials that these agents are able to reduce mortality and morbidity of the traumatized patient. Hence, supportive care of failing organs, treatment of hypoxemia and maintenance of an appropriate systemic blood pressure remain the mainstay of critical care therapy. Widely accepted therapeutic measures are (i) immediate treatment of hypoxia by administration of oxygen and ventilatory support, if needed, to maintain an oxygen tension of 60 mmHg or higher (ii) maintenance of adequate oxygen content by transfusion of red packed cells in order to restore a hematocrit of 23-30% (iii) treatment of hypovolemia by infusion of crystalloids, colloids and blood products (iv) normoventilation and restoration of a normal or elevated blood pressure in patients with severe head injury (v) immobilisation and early administration of methylprednisolone in patients with spinal cord injury (vi) analgesia by administration of opioids, non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs, or ketamine (vii) sedation with benzodiazepines, gamma-hydroxbutyrate or propofol (viii) early enteral nutrition (ix); antibiotic therapy of infections (x) pressure controlled ventilation in patients with acute lung injury (xi) continuous veno-venous hemofiltration in patients developing acute renal failure and (xii) early surgical interventions to control bleeding and/or to evacuate intracerebral hematomas.

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