Outcomes with advanced versus basic life support in blunt trauma

Farrell MS, Emery B, Caplan R, Getchell J, Cipolle M, Bradley KM

Am. J. Surg. 2020 Jan;

PMID: 32000980


INTRODUCTION: The role of advanced life support (ALS) versus basic life support (BLS) in blunt trauma is controversial. Previous studies have shown no mortality benefit with ALS for penetrating trauma but the blunt population has mostly remained unaddressed.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted at a Level 1 trauma center comparing outcomes in blunt trauma patients managed by ALS versus BLS from July 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014. Both Injury Severity Score (ISS) and select Abbreviated Injury Score (AIS) were used to determine differences in mortality, length of stay (LOS) and complications based on mode of transportation, prehospital time, and number of prehospital interventions.

RESULTS: 698 total patients were identified. Mortality and complications were grossly higher in ALS patients (p = 0.01 and < 0.001, respectively). When accounting for ISS and AIS there was no difference in mortality (p=<0.001-0.003). Prehospital interventions did not increase prehospital time (p = 0.7) but did correlate with increased mortality (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: There is no mortality advantage for blunt trauma patients managed by ALS versus BLS.

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