INTRODUCTION: Trauma is a great contributor to mortality worldwide. One of the challenges in trauma care is early identification and management of bleeding. The circulatory status of blunt trauma patients in the emergency room is evaluated using hemodynamic (HD) parameters. However, there is no consensus on which parameters to use. In this study, we evaluate the used terms and definitions in the literature for HD stability and compare those to the opinion of Dutch trauma team members.
METHOD: A systematic review was performed to collect the definitions used for HD stability. Studies describing the assessment and/or treatment of blunt trauma patients in the emergency room were included. In addition, an online survey was conducted amongst Dutch trauma team members.
RESULTS: Out of a total of 222, 67 articles were found to be eligible for inclusion. HD stability was defined in 70% of these articles. The most used parameters were systolic blood pressure and heart rate. Besides the variety of parameters, a broad range of corresponding cut-off points is noted. Despite some common ground, high inter- and intra-variability is seen for the physicians that are part of the Dutch trauma teams.
CONCLUSION: All authors acknowledge HD stability as the most important factor in the assessment and management of blunt trauma patients. There is, however, no consensus in the literature as well as none-to-fair consensus amongst Dutch trauma team members in the definition of HD stability. A trauma team ready to co-operate with consensus-based opinions together with a valid scoring system is in our opinion the best method to assess and treat seriously injured trauma patients.