Emergency room thoracotomy: Updated guidelines for a level I trauma center

Alan P. Ladd, Gerardo A. Gomez, Lewis E. Jacobson, Thomas A. Broadie, L. R. Scherer, Kathleen C. Solotkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether 1995 study conclusions influenced patient selection and subsequent survival and whether indications for emergency room thoracotomy (ERT) could be further limited on the basis of patient physiologic status. A retrospective review of patient demographics, physiologic status both at the scene and on arrival to the emergency room (ER), and survival was performed on those who underwent ERT from July 1995 to December 1999. Sixty-five patients underwent ERT for sustained gunshot wounds and 14 patients for stab wounds. There were no survivors from Class I or II at the scene or Class I on presentation to the ER. Although there was a significant decrease in patients of Class I at the scene (27% vs 8%) and in the ER (58.3% vs 35.4%) the overall survival rate remained the same (2.6%). ERT could be eliminated for patients of Class I or II at the scene and for those of Class I on arrival to the ER without negating survivors; survival would improve to 16.2 per cent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-424
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Cite this

Ladd, A. P., Gomez, G. A., Jacobson, L. E., Broadie, T. A., Scherer, L. R., & Solotkin, K. C. (2002). Emergency room thoracotomy: Updated guidelines for a level I trauma center. American Surgeon, 68(5), 421-424.