Management of cardiac arrest following blunt trauma: a critical evaluation of resuscitative thoracotomy
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Management of cardiac arrest following blunt trauma: a critical evaluation of resuscitative thoracotomy

Nicola Davies Senior Sister, Emergency Department, The Royal London Hospital, London, England
William English General Surgery Registrar, Queen’s Hospital, London, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To improve your understanding of the challenges of managing patients who have sustained blunt trauma

  • To enhance your knowledge of the role of resuscitative thoracotomy in the emergency department

  • To increase your awareness of new interventions that may provide alternatives to resuscitative thoracotomy

Survival rates in patients who sustain cardiac arrest following blunt trauma are suboptimal. Although resuscitative thoracotomy is advocated for managing patients who present with penetrating trauma, its use in blunt trauma is controversial because it has been consistently shown to produce suboptimal outcomes.

This article examines some of the challenges associated with decision-making regarding the management of patients with cardiac arrest following blunt trauma, critically evaluates the role of resuscitative thoracotomy and considers some novel interventions that may provide clinicians with alternative management options.

Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2020.e2029

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

@nikkidavies22

Correspondence

nicola.davies210@nhs.net

Conflict of interest

None declared

Davies N, English W (2020) Management of cardiac arrest following blunt trauma: a critical evaluation of resuscitative thoracotomy. Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2020.e2029

Accepted 26 May 2020

Published online: 25 August 2020

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in

OR

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
Subscribe
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now

Or