May 25, 2018
Author: Dylan Luyten, MD
- Resuscitative thoracotomies are most commonly used for
treatment of cardiac tamponade and to selectively perfuse the brain
and heart in setting of hemorrhage control.
- Resuscitative thoracotomies are indicated in patients with
penetrating injuries who lose vitals in the ED or those who had
vitals within the last 10 minutes.
- Do not perform resuscitative thoracotomies on patients who have
no signs of life on scene, asystole as their presenting rhythm, or
no vitals > 10 minutes.
- Resuscitative thoracotomies are not indicated in patients with
blunt trauma unless vitals are present in ED.
- Do not perform CPR on trauma patients.
Karmy-Jones R, Namias N, Coimbra
R, et al. (2014).Western Trauma Association critical decisions in
trauma: penetrating chest trauma. Journal of Trauma Acute Care
Seamon MJ, Shiroff AM, Franco M,
et al. (2009) Emergency department thoracotomy for penetrating
injuries of the heart and great vessels: an appraisal of 283
consecutive cases from two urban trauma centers.