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      Treatments for blunt chest trauma and their impact on patient outcomes and health service delivery


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          Blunt chest trauma is associated with a high risk of morbidity and mortality. Complications in blunt chest trauma develop secondary to rib fractures as a consequence of pain and inadequate ventilation. This literature review aimed to examine clinical interventions in rib fractures and their impact on patient and hospital outcomes. A systematic search strategy, using a structured clinical question and defined search terms, was performed in MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and the Cochrane Library. The search was limited to studies of adult humans from 1990-March 2014 and yielded 977 articles, which were screened against inclusion/exclusion criteria. A hand search was then performed of the articles that met the eligibility criteria, 40 articles were included in this review. Each article was assessed using a quantitative critiquing guideline. From these articles, interventions were categorised into four main groups: analgesia, surgical fixation, clinical protocols and other interventions. Surgical fixation was effective in patients with flail chest at improving patient outcomes. Epidural analgesia, compared to both patient controlled analgesia and intravenous narcotics in patients with three or more rib fractures improved both hospital and patient outcomes, including pain relief and pulmonary function. Clinical pathways improve outcomes in patients ≥ 65 with rib fractures. The majority of reviewed papers recommended a multi-disciplinary approach including allied health (chest physiotherapy and nutritionist input), nursing, medical (analgesic review) and surgical intervention (stabilisation of flail chest). However there was a paucity of evidence describing methods to implement and evaluate such multidisciplinary interventions. Isolated interventions can be effective in improving patient and health service outcomes for patients with blunt chest injuries, however the literature recommends implementing strategies such as clinical pathways to improve the care and outcomes of thesetre patients. The implementation of evidence-practice interventions in this area is scarce, and evaluation of interventions scarcer still.

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          The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13049-015-0091-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          A prospective study of venous thromboembolism after major trauma.

          Although deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism are considered common complications after major trauma, their frequency and the associated risk factors have not been carefully quantified. We performed serial impedance plethysmography and lower-extremity contrast venography to detect deep-vein thrombosis in a cohort of 716 patients admitted to a regional trauma unit. Prophylaxis against thromboembolism was not used. Deep-vein thrombosis in the lower extremities was found in 201 of the 349 patients (58 percent) with adequate venographic studies, and proximal-vein thrombosis was found in 63 (18 percent). Three patients died of massive pulmonary embolism before venography could be performed. Before venography, only three of the patients with deep-vein thrombosis had clinical features suggestive of the condition. Deep-vein thrombosis was found in 65 of the 129 patients with major injuries involving the face, chest, or abdomen (50 percent); in 49 of the 91 patients with major head injuries (53.8 percent); in 41 of the 66 with spinal injuries (62 percent); and in 126 of the 182 with lower-extremity orthopedic injuries (69 percent). Thrombi were detected in 61 of the 100 patients with pelvic fractures (61 percent), in 59 of the 74 with femoral fractures (80 percent), and in 66 of the 86 with tibial fractures (77 percent). A multivariate analysis identified five independent risk factors for deep-vein thrombosis: older age (odds ratio, 1.05 per year of age; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.03 to 1.06), blood transfusion (odds ratio, 1.74; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.03 to 2.93), surgery (odds ratio, 2.30; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.08 to 4.89), fracture of the femur or tibia (odds ratio, 4.82; 95 percent confidence interval, 2.79 to 8.33), and spinal cord injury (odds ratio, 8.59; 95 percent confidence interval, 2.92 to 25.28). Venous thromboembolism is a common complication in patients with major trauma, and effective, safe prophylactic regimens are needed.
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            Using a bundle approach to improve ventilator care processes and reduce ventilator-associated pneumonia.

            A "bundle" of ventilator care processes (peptic ulcer disease prophylaxis, deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis, elevation of the head of the bed, and a sedation vacation), which may also reduce ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) rates, can serve as a focus for improvement strategies in intensive care units (ICUs). Between July 2002 and January 2004, teams of critical care clinicians from 61 health care organizations participated in a collaborative on improving care in the ICU. ICU team members posted data monthly on a Web-based extranet and submitted narrative descriptions describing the changes tested and the strategies implemented. For the 35 units that consistently collected data on ventilator bundle element adherence and VAP rates, an average 44.5% reduction of VAP was observed. The goal-oriented nature of the bundle appears to demand development of the teamwork necessary to improve reliability. The observations seem sufficiently robust to support implementing the ventilator bundles to provide a focus for additional change in ICUs.
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              Strategies to reduce postoperative pulmonary complications after noncardiothoracic surgery: systematic review for the American College of Physicians.

              Postoperative pulmonary complications are as frequent and clinically important as cardiac complications in terms of morbidity, mortality, and length of stay. However, there has been much less research and no previous systematic reviews of the evidence of interventions to prevent pulmonary complications. To systematically review the literature on interventions to prevent postoperative pulmonary complications after noncardiothoracic surgery. MEDLINE English-language literature search, 1 January 1980 through 30 June 2005, plus bibliographies of retrieved publications. Randomized, controlled trials (RCTs); systematic reviews; or meta-analyses that met predefined inclusion criteria. Using standardized forms, the authors abstracted data on study methods, quality, intervention and control groups, patient characteristics, surgery, postoperative pulmonary complications, and adverse events. The authors qualitatively synthesized, without meta-analysis, evidence from eligible studies. Good evidence (2 systematic reviews, 5 additional RCTs) indicates that lung expansion interventions (for example, incentive spirometry, deep breathing exercises, and continuous positive airway pressure) reduce pulmonary risk. Fair evidence suggests that selective, rather than routine, use of nasogastric tubes after abdominal surgery (2 meta-analyses) and short-acting rather than long-acting intraoperative neuromuscular blocking agents (1 RCT) reduce risk. The evidence is conflicting or insufficient for preoperative smoking cessation (1 RCT), epidural anesthesia (2 meta-analyses), epidural analgesia (6 RCTs, 1 meta-analysis), and laparoscopic (vs. open) operations (1 systematic review, 1 meta-analysis, 2 additional RCTs), although laparoscopic operations reduce pain and pulmonary compromise as measured by spirometry. While malnutrition is associated with increased pulmonary risk, routine total enteral or parenteral nutrition does not reduce risk (1 meta-analysis, 3 additional RCTs). Enteral formulations designed to improve immune status (immunonutrition) may prevent postoperative pneumonia (1 meta-analysis, 1 additional RCT). The overall quality of the literature was fair: Ten of 20 RCTs and 6 of 11 systematic reviews were good quality. Few interventions have been shown to clearly or possibly reduce postoperative pulmonary complications.

                Author and article information

                Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med
                Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med
                Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine
                BioMed Central (London )
                8 February 2015
                8 February 2015
                : 23
                : 17
                [ ]Trauma Department, St George Hospital, Gray Street, Kogarah, NSW 2217 Australia
                [ ]Sydney Nursing School, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW Australia
                [ ]Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW Australia
                [ ]Department of Emergency, St George Hospital, Gray Street, Kogarah, NSW 2217 Australia
                © Unsworth et al.; licensee BioMed Central. 2015

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                : 13 October 2014
                : 7 January 2015
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2015

                Emergency medicine & Trauma
                rib fractures,management interventions,patient and health outcomes


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