03.11.2021 | Original Article
Elevated serum lactate levels and age are associated with an increased risk for severe injury in trauma team activation due to trauma mechanism
Paul Hagebusch, Philipp Faul, Alexander Klug, Yves Gramlich, Reinhard Hoffmann, Uwe Schweigkofler
European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery
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The identification of risk factors for severe injury is crucial in trauma triage and trauma team activation (TTA) depends on a sufficient triage. The aim of this study was to determine whether or not elevated serum lactate levels and age are risk factors for severe injury in TTA due to trauma mechanism.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study in a single level one trauma center between September 2019 and May 2021 and analysed every TTA due to trauma mechanism. Primary endpoint of interest was the association of serum lactate as well as age with injury severity assessed by the injury severity score (ISS).
During the study period, we included 250 patients. Mean age was 43.3 years (Min.: 11, Max.: 90, SD: 18.7) and the initial lactate level was 1.7 mmol/L (SD: 0.95) with a mean ISS of 8.4 (SD: 8.99). The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for age > 65 being associated with an ISS > 16 is 9.7 (p < 0.001; 95% CI 4.01–25.58) and for lactate > 2.2 mmol/L being associated with an ISS > 16 is 6.29 (p < 0.001; 95% CI 2.93–13.48). A lactate level of > 4 mmol/L results in a 36-fold higher risk of severe injury with an ISS > 16 (OR 36.06; 95% CI 4–324.29).
This study identifies age (> 65) and lactate (> 2.2 mmol/L) as independent risk factors for severe injury in a TTA due to trauma mechanism. Existing triage protocols might benefit from congruous amendments.