Trauma - logistics and stress response
Abstract: Background: Trauma is a major cause of death and disability. Adverse events, such as prolonged prehospital time, hypoxia, hypotension and/or hyperventilation have been reported to correlate to poor outcome.Adequate cortisol levels are essential for survival after major trauma. In hypotensive critically ill patients, lack of sufficient amount of cortisol can be suspected, and a concept of critical illness related corticosteroid insufficiency has been proposed. Corticosteroid therapy has many adverse effects in critically ill patients and should only be given if life-saving. Correct measurement of serum cortisol levels is important but difficult in critically ill patients with capillary leakage. Estimation of the free and biologically active cortisol is preferable. In serum less than 10% of cortisol is free and biologically active and not possible to measure with routine laboratory methods. Salivary cortisol can be used as a surrogate for free cortisol, but salivary production is reduced in critically ill patients. Liver resection could reduce cortisol levels due to substrate deficiency.Aims: 1. Evaluate the occurrence of early adverse events in patients with traumatic brain injury and relate them to outcome. 2. Assess cortisol levels over time after trauma and correlate to severity of trauma, sedative/analgesic drugs and cardiovascular function. 3. Evaluate if saliva stimulation could be performed without interfering with salivary cortisol levels. 4. Assess cortisol levels over time after liver resection in comparison to other major surgery.Results: There was no significant correlation between prehospital time ³60 minutes, hypoxia (saturation <95%), hypotension (systolic blood pressure <90 mmHg), or hyperventilation (ETCO2 <4.5 kPa) and a poor outcome (Glasgow Outcome Scale 1-3) in patients with traumatic brain injury. Cortisol levels decreased significantly over time after trauma, but there was no correlation between low (<200 nmol/L) serum cortisol levels and severity of trauma.Infusion of sedative/analgesic drugs was the strongest predictor for a low (<200 nmol/L) serum cortisol. The odds ratio for low serum cortisol levels (<200 nmol/L) was 8.0 for patients receiving continuous infusion of sedative/analgesic drugs. There was no significant difference between unstimulated and stimulated salivary cortisol levels (p=0.06) in healthy volunteers. Liver resection was not associated with significantly lower cortisol levels compared to other major surgery.Conclusion: There was no significant correlation between early adverse events and outcome in patients with traumatic brain injury. Cortisol levels decreased significantly over time in trauma patients. Low cortisol levels (<200 nmol/L) were significantly correlated to continuous infusion of sedative/analgesic drugs. Saliva stimulation could be performed without interfering with salivary cortisol levels. Liver resection was not associated with low cortisol levels compared to other major surgery.
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