Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 93-97

Correlation of venous lactate and time of death in emergency department patients with noncritical lactate levels and mortality from trauma


1 Department of Emergency Medicine, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Kings County Hospital Center, Brooklyn, NY 11203, USA
2 Department of Emergency Medicine, Brown University, Providence, RI 02903, USA
3 Department of Surgery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Kings County Hospital Center, Brooklyn, NY 11203, USA

Correspondence Address:
Ashika Jain
Department of Emergency Medicine, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, King County Hospital Center, 450, Clarkson Avenue, P. O. Box 1228, Brooklyn, NY 11203
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JETS.JETS_68_16

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Background: Serum venous lactate (LAC) levels help guide emergency department (ED) resuscitation of patients with major trauma. Critical LAC level (CLAC, ≥4.0 mmol/L) is associated with increased disease severity and higher mortality in injured patients. The characteristics of injured patients with non-CLAC (NCLAC) (<4.0 mmol/L) and death have not been previously described. Objectives: (1) To describe the characteristics of patients with venous NCLAC and death from trauma. (2) To assess the correlation of venous NCLAC with time of death. Methods: A retrospective cohort study at an urban teaching hospital between 9/2011 and 8/2014. Inclusion: All trauma patients (all ages) who presented to the ED with any injury and met all criteria: (1) Venous LAC drawn at the time of arrival that resulted in an NCLAC level; (2) were admitted to the hospital; (3) died during their hospitalization. Exclusion: CLAC. Outcome: Correlation of NCLAC and time of death. Data were extracted from an electronic medical record by trained data abstractors using a standardized protocol. Cross-checks were performed on 10% of data entries and inter-observer agreement was calculated. Data were explored using descriptive statistics and Kaplan–Meier curves were created to define survival estimates. Data are presented as percentages with 95% confidence interval (CI) for proportions and medians with quartiles for continuous variables. Kaplan–Meier curves with differences in time to events based on LAC are used to analyze the data. Results: A total of 60 patients met the inclusion criteria. The median age was 52 years (quartiles: 30, 75) and 73% were male (age range 2–92). The median LAC in the overall cohort was 1.9 mmol/L (quartiles: 1.5, 2.1). Sixteen patients (27%) died during the first 24 h with 5 (31%) due to intracranial hemorrhage. The median survival time was 5.6 days (134.4 h) (95% CI: 2.3–12.6). Conclusions: In trauma patients with NCLAC who died during the index hospitalization, the median survival time was 5.6 days, approximately one-third of patients died within the first 24 h. These findings indicate that relying on a triage NCLAC level alone may result in underestimating injury severity and subsequent morbidity and mortality.


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