Assessment of initial base deficit as a predictor of outcome: Mechanism of injury does make a difference

Lorraine N. Tremblay, David V. Feliciano, Grace Rozycki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Initial base deficit in injured patients has been shown to predict the adequacy of resuscitation and outcome. The usefulness of base deficit as a predictor of outcome, however, may be dependent on the mechanism of injury. We conducted a retrospective review of the trauma registry, supplemented by chart review, of all trauma patients treated at a Level I trauma center from January 1995 through July 2001. Data collected included mechanism of injury, base deficit, Injury Severity Score, and outcome. From 1995 through 2001 a total of 3275 patients (23% of trauma admissions) at a mean age of 34 ± 15 years had a base deficit recorded at the time of admission. The patients were 78 per cent male, and the mechanism of injury was blunt trauma in 58.2 per cent. Mortality increased with successive increases in base deficit but was markedly lower for a given base deficit in those patients having sustained stab wounds and/or severe lacerations as compared with those with gunshot wounds or blunt trauma. The value of the base deficit as a predictor of outcome depends upon the mechanism of injury and appears most useful for patients sustaining gunshot wounds or blunt trauma. Future studies in patients with penetrating trauma using base deficit as a predictor of outcome should separate patients with gunshot wounds from those with stab wounds or lacerations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)689-693
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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