Background: Emergency department thoracotomy (EDT) is a procedure used in an attempt to save lives of patients in extremis. This study aims to determine predictors of survival and futility by proposing a scoring scale that measures cardiac instability and its use in predicting survival of victims of penetrating trauma undergoing EDT. Methods: This retrospective study analyzes patients who underwent EDT during a 45-month period at Howard University Hospital, Washington, DC. Vital signs and Glasgow Coma scale (GCS) scores were analyzed at the scene and in the emergency department. A cardiac instability score (CIS) was devised to assign values to vital signs, and the GCS was based on scores from the emergency department. Results: Emergency department vital signs, female gender, absence of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and high CIS were found to be statistically significant predictors of survival. Conclusions: The CIS correlated with survival of patients who underwent EDT and was found to be statistically significant in determining the outcome of an EDT.
- Emergency care
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