Performance in Trauma Resuscitation at an Urban Tertiary Level I Pediatric Trauma Center.

Year of Publication


Number of Pages


Date Published

2016 Nov

ISSN Number



<p><strong>BACKGROUND: </strong>The role of the surveyor in trauma resuscitations is to identify life-threatening injuries and is meant to be conducted by a set protocol for every patient. Optimal performance of the trauma survey is known to be a challenge in pediatric trauma resuscitation. A postulated reason for this observation is that many trainees, such as pediatric residents, who perform the trauma survey have minimal experience and do not have formal advanced trauma life support training. The assessment of factors that may be obstacles in performing the trauma survey has not been studied robustly.</p>

<p><strong>OBJECTIVE: </strong>The objective of this retrospective cohort study was to use video review of resuscitation of real-life traumatically injured children to (1) describe the characteristics of the trauma patient, the surveyor, and the trauma response team in its current state of function at a tertiary level I trauma center, (2) describe current performance of primary and secondary surveys, as measured by an assessment tool, and (3) determine whether there are specific characteristics associated with reduced quality, completeness, or timeliness of the assessment of an injured child.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>Retrospective review of emergency department (ED) trauma activations captured by video recording between June 2009 and January 2012. Video-recorded resuscitations were reviewed, and survey performance was scored using a novel assessment tool applying a scoring system (0, 1, or 2 points) for each essential element (airway, breathing, circulation, etc.) accounting for quality, sequence, and timing of assessments. Maximum score was 8 points for the primary survey and 22 points for the secondary survey. Time to completion of survey elements was recorded. Chart review identified surveyor characteristics (level of training and type of training program) and patient data fields (age, mechanism of injury, trauma level, Glasgow Coma Score, time of encounter, disposition, and number of procedures). Descriptive statistics and univariate analysis were performed.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Of 749 eligible trauma activations, 228 activations were enrolled in the study with complete data for 202 patients. Most activations met level II criteria and involved blunt trauma. Most patients had a Glasgow Coma Score of 15 and were non-ICU inpatient admissions. PGY-3 residents performed the most surveys (53% of surveys done by residents). Pediatric residents performed 46% of surveys; emergency medicine (EM) residents, 41%; and pediatric EM fellows, 6%. Median scores on primary and secondary surveys were 7 and 12, respectively; median time to completion was 82 seconds and 265 seconds, respectively. Only 22% of primary surveys and 0% of secondary surveys were performed completely. Pediatric EM fellows had the highest mean score on primary and secondary survey. Pediatric EM fellows took longest to perform primary survey and shortest to complete secondary survey. Mean scores on primary and secondary survey were not significantly different between pediatric and EM residents (6.7 vs 6.7; 12.5 vs 11.6). There was no association between survey scores and level or type of training. Emergency medicine residents spent less time on the trauma survey, but this difference did not reach statistical significance.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>Primary and secondary surveys are frequently performed incompletely and inefficiently regardless of level of training or type of training program. There is no difference in measured performance among different types of residency programs. The impact of trauma resuscitation education on improved survey performance should be studied prospectively.</p>



Alternate Title

Pediatr Emerg Care




Subscription is not available for this page.