Standards of fracture care in polytrauma: results of a Europe-wide survey by the ESTES polytrauma section
Julian Scherer, Raul Coimbra, Diego Mariani, Luke Leenen, Radko Komadina, Ruben Peralta, Luka Fattori, Ingo Marzi, Klaus Wendt, Christine Gaarder, Hans-Christoph Pape, Roman Pfeifer
INTRODUCTION Fixation of major fractures plays a pivotal role in the surgical treatment of polytrauma patients. In addition to ongoing discussions regarding the optimal timing in level I trauma centers, it appears that the respective trauma systems impact the implementation of both, damage control and safe definitive surgery strategies. This study aimed to assess current standards of polytrauma treatment in a Europe-wide survey. METHODS A survey, developed by members of the polytrauma section
... ESTES, was sent online via SurveyMonkey ő , between July and November 2020, to 450 members of ESTES (European Society of Trauma and Emergency Surgery). Participation was voluntary and anonymity was granted. The questionnaire consisted of demographic data and included questions about the definition of "polytrauma" and the local standards for the timing of fracture fixation. RESULTS In total, questionnaires of 87 participants (19.3% response rate) were included. The majority of participants were senior consultants (50.57%). The mean work experience was 19 years, and on average, 17 multipleinjured patients were treated monthly. Most of the participants stated that a polytrauma patient is defined by ISS 16 (44.16%), followed by the "Berlin Definition" (25.97%). Systolic blood pressure < 90 mmHg, tachycardia or vasopressor administration (86.84%), pH deviation, base excess shift (48.68%), and lactate > 4 mmol (40.79%) or coagulopathy defined by ROTEM (40.79%) were the three most often stated indicators for shock. Local guidelines (33.77%) and the S-3 Guideline by the DGU® (23.38%) were mostly stated as a reference for the treatment of polytrauma patients. Normal coagulation (79.69%), missing administration of vasopressors (62.50%), and missing clinical signs of "SIRS" (67.19%) were stated as criteria for safe definite secondary surgery. CONCLUSION Different definitions of polytrauma are used in the clinical setting. Indication for and the extent of secondary (definitive) surgery are mainly dependent on the polytrauma patient's physiology. The «Window of Opportunity» plays a less important role in decision making.