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Prospective Evaluation of an Extubation Protocol in a Trauma Intensive Care Unit Population

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Little data exists regarding extubation protocols in critically injured trauma patients. The objective of the current study was to prospectively examine the impact of implementing an extubation protocol on the outcomes of ventilated trauma patients in a surgical intensive care unit (STICU). Trauma patients admitted to the STICU over a 15-month period at a Level 1 trauma center were prospectively evaluated. The total period was divided into an education and institution period (April 2002–November 2003) and an evaluation period (December 2003–July 2003). Patient demographics, hospital course, complications, and outcomes from period I were compared with those obtained during period II. From April 8, 2002 through July 5, 2003, 69 patients intubated for greater than 24 hours were included in our analysis. Thirty-three were treated during period I and 36 were treated during period II. Both groups were well matched in terms of age, sex, Injury Severity Score, and chest Abbreviated Injury Score. Ventilation days significantly decreased from a mean of 16.3 to 8.2 days (P = 0.04). ICU length of stay also decreased, nearly meeting significance. A rigorously enforced extubation protocol significantly decreased ventilator days in STICU patients. Continued education of health care providers is key to the success of the protocol.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System, Medical College of Virginia Hospital and Physicians, Richmond, Virginia

Publication date: May 1, 2006

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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