Document Detail

Compartment syndrome performance improvement project is associated with increased combat casualty survival.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23147175     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: In 2008, we showed that incomplete or delayed extremity fasciotomies were associated with mortality and muscle necrosis in war casualties with limb injury. Subsequently, we developed an education program focused on surgeon knowledge gaps regarding the diagnosis of compartment syndrome and prophylactic fasciotomy. The program included educational alerts, classroom training, video instruction, and a research publication. We compared casualty data before and after the program implementation to determine whether the education altered outcomes.
METHODS: Similar to the previous study, a case series was made from combat casualty medical records. Casualties were US military servicemen with fasciotomies performed in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Germany between two periods (periods 1 and 2).
RESULTS: In both periods, casualty demographics were similar. Most fasciotomies were performed to the lower leg and forearm. Period 1 had 336 casualties with 643 fasciotomies, whereas Period 2 had 268 casualties with 1,221 fasciotomies (1.9 vs. 4.6 fasciotomies per casualty, respectively; p < 0.0001). The mortality rate decreased in Period 2 (3%, 8 of 268 casualties) from Period 1 (8%, 26 of 336 casualties; p = 0.0125). Muscle excision and major amputation rates were similar in both periods (p > 0.05). Rates of casualties with revision fasciotomy decreased to 8% in Period 2, (22 of 268 casualties) versus 15% in Period 1 (51 of 336 casualties; p = 0.009).
CONCLUSION: Combat casualty care following implementation of a fasciotomy education program was associated with improved survival, higher fasciotomy rates, and fewer revisions. Because delayed fasciotomy rates were unchanged, further effort to educate providers may be indicated.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic study, level IV.
John F Kragh; James San Antonio; John W Simmons; James E Mace; Daniel J Stinner; Christopher E White; Raymond Fang; James K Aden; Joseph R Hsu; Brian J Eastridge; Donald H Jenkins; John D Ritchie; Mark O Hardin; Amber E Ritenour; Charles E Wade; Lorne H Blackbourne
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The journal of trauma and acute care surgery     Volume:  74     ISSN:  2163-0763     ISO Abbreviation:  J Trauma Acute Care Surg     Publication Date:  2013 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-12-28     Completed Date:  2013-03-21     Revised Date:  2013-09-25    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101570622     Medline TA:  J Trauma Acute Care Surg     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  259-63     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
US Army Institute of Surgical Research, Fort Sam Houston, Houston, Texas 78234-6315, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Afghan Campaign 2001-
Compartment Syndromes / etiology,  mortality,  prevention & control*,  surgery
Extremities / injuries*,  surgery
Fascia / surgery*
Iraq War, 2003 - 2011
Quality Improvement
Survival Rate
United States
Young Adult
Grant Support
//Howard Hughes Medical Institute; //Wellcome Trust

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