Document Detail

Serial hematocrit testing does not identify major injuries in trauma patients in an observation unit.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20466228     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Routine serial hematocrit measurements are a component of the trauma evaluation for patients without serious injury identified on initial evaluation. We sought to determine whether serial hematocrit testing was useful in detecting significant intra-abdominal injuries in trauma patients in our observation unit. METHODS: We performed a retrospective chart review of all trauma patients placed in our observation unit over a 14-month period. Patients had received trauma surgery evaluation before placement in the observation unit and routinely received serial hematocrit testing (>or=2 hematocrit levels) while in the observation unit. We compared trauma patients with a hematocrit drop of 5 points or more to those without a significant hematocrit drop. RESULTS: Three hundred sixty-five trauma patients were placed in the observation unit, and 310 patients (85%) had at least 2 hematocrits drawn during their stay. Of these patients, 20.6% had a hematocrit drop of 5 or more. Of patients with the hematocrit change, 18.8% were admitted to an inpatient unit from the observation unit compared to 9.3% of patients without a significant hematocrit change (P = .034). In one of these patients who had a computed tomography scan before observation admission, which demonstrated free fluid, the hematocrit drop assisted in diagnosing significant intra-abdominal injury. CONCLUSION: Although serial hematocrit testing may be useful in specific situations, routine use of serial hematocrit testing in trauma patients at a level I trauma center's observation unit did not significantly aid in the detection of occult injury.
Troy Madsen; Matthew Dawson; Joseph Bledsoe; Philip Bossart
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2010-01-28
Journal Detail:
Title:  The American journal of emergency medicine     Volume:  28     ISSN:  1532-8171     ISO Abbreviation:  Am J Emerg Med     Publication Date:  2010 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-05-14     Completed Date:  2010-06-02     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8309942     Medline TA:  Am J Emerg Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  472-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
(c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Abdominal Injuries / blood,  diagnosis*
Confidence Intervals
Emergency Service, Hospital
Monitoring, Physiologic
Odds Ratio
Retrospective Studies
Time Factors

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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