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The Crashing Trauma Patient

Accidental and traumatic injuries remain one of the leading causes of death worldwide, accounting for 5.8 million deaths annually and a large percentage of ED evaluations. Increasing disease severity creates an environment that makes patient care difficult. The American College of Surgeons has created a protocol driven framework, Advanced Trauma Life Support, in order to overcome this challenge and achieve success in the “Golden Hour”. Management of the crashing trauma patient can be hectic and challenging. The primary role of the traumatologist is to create a calm environment in the trauma bay in order to effectively designate roles and provide cohesive, structured care. Preparing the trauma team prior to arrival can be helpful in order to obtain appropriate equipment, including an airway cart, RSI drugs, tube thoracostomy, ED thoracotomy tray, or a Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta (REBOA) catheter. Managing the room and all members of the trauma team can be difficult, but can often make a sloppy and potentially unsuccessful resuscitation more organized. As the Boy Scouts of America motto states, “Be prepared.”