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Trauma in Pregnancy: The Relationship of Trauma Activation Level and Obstetric Outcomes

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Trauma in pregnancy is a leading cause of poor fetal and obstetric outcomes. Trauma team activation (TTA) criteria include injury with ≥ 20 weeks gestational age (GA). A retrospective analysis was performed on pregnant patients evaluated at a Level 1 trauma center. Patients were characterized by TTA: full, partial, or non-TTA, and TTA criteria independent of pregnancy. Index trauma and delayed delivery hospitalization outcomes were examined. Bivariate analysis, t test, and logistic regression were used when appropriate. From 2010 to 2015, 216 full, 50 partial, and 50 non-TTAs presented. Independent of pregnancy, 79 per cent of patients did not meet the TTA criteria. Fourteen (4%) had a pregnancy-related complication during index hospitalization (eight fetal and two maternal deaths). Nine of ten deaths occurred in patients meeting TTA independent of pregnancy. Delivery complications were greater in the index (52%, 13/25) versus subsequent (5%, 17/155) hospitalizations and were predicted by the respiratory rate (P = 0.016) and injury severity score (P < 0.001). Poor delayed delivery outcomes were associated with earlier GA (P < 0.002) and longer index hospitalization (P < 0.024). Odds of complication are higher in patients meeting the physiologic and anatomic criteria criteria for TTA versus GA criteria alone, signifying overtriage. Trauma activation protocols should be adapted based on the physiologic and anatomic criteria criteria in pregnant patients.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2019

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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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