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

Subscribe for unlimited access

Try 1 month’s access for just £1 and get:

Your subscription package includes:
  • Full access to the website and the online archive
  • Bi-monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal
Subscribe
Already subscribed? Log in

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

Or