A massive pulmonary embolism treatment protocol: How trauma performance improvement affects outcome throughout the hospital system

Catherine Garrison Velopulos, Mark Zumberg, Priscilla McAuliffe, Lawrence Lottenberg, A. Joseph Layon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Trauma performance improvement is the hallmark of a mature trauma center. If loop closure is to be complete, preventable deaths must result in significant change in management and the establishment of protocol-driven improvements so such an instance does not recur. The trauma performance improvement committee reviewed a case of a massive pulmonary embolus and determined that this was a preventable death. The hospital performance improvement committee then initiated a root cause analysis, which led to creation of a treatment protocol for patients with massive or submassive pulmonary embolism. A focused review of the first 6 months of the implementation of the protocol was undertaken. Four patients over a 6-month period had massive or submassive pulmonary embolus. All four had sudden death or near sudden death and were appropriately resuscitated. All four sustained right heart failure. Two patients were treated by catheter-directed fibrinolysis, one with catheter-directed suction embolectomy, and one by surgical pulmonary embolectomy. All survived with full neurologic function. Trauma performance improvement is the model by which all hospital performance improvement should be done. Preventable deaths can result in change, which can have a future impact on survival in potentially lethal scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-148
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Volume76
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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