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Navigating the Road to Recovery: Priorities in the Care of Trauma Patients. Kristie Hertel MSN,CCRN,ACNP-BC Advanced Practice Provider Trauma and Surgical Critical Care. Objectives. Identify appropriate resuscitation fluids and end points of resuscitation

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Navigating the road to recovery priorities in the care of trauma patients

Navigating the Road to Recovery: Priorities in the Care of Trauma Patients

Kristie Hertel MSN,CCRN,ACNP-BC

Advanced Practice Provider

Trauma and Surgical Critical Care

Objectives Trauma Patients

  • Identify appropriate resuscitation fluids and end points of resuscitation

  • Identify appropriate pain management agents to use through out the spectrum of care

  • Describe difficulties in case management

  • Describe changes in nursing priorities from admission to discharge

Case study
Case Study Trauma Patients

  • 29 y/o male involved in motor vehicle roll over collision. Single vehicle collision. +ETOH. Combative at scene. Not following commands. Air transported to closest trauma center. Arrives to emergency department in full cervical spine precautions. GCS has declined enroute. Patient is moaning, withdraws to pain, and will not open his eyes to painful stimuli. Initial BP 100/65 with HR 115, RR 26, SpO2 97% on NRB. Given fentanyl and versed enroute.

Case study1
Case Study Trauma Patients


Emergency room priorities
Emergency Room Priorities Trauma Patients

  • Primary Survey

    • Airway w/ Cspine

    • Breathing

    • Circulation

  • Secondary Survery

    • Disability

    • Exposure

    • Full vitals, family, foley, OGT

    • Give comfort

    • History

    • Inspect head to toe

Case study2
Case Study Trauma Patients

  • Primary Survey

    • Moaning, able to maintain airway but GCS 8

      • Intubate

    • Diminished breath sounds on R

      • Thoracostomy tube to R

    • 2 large bore IVs in place, no active areas of hemorrhage, central pulse +2

      • Controlled rate unless hypotension and then consider transfusion of PRBC

Case study3
Case Study Trauma Patients

  • SecondaySurvery

    • GCS 8, Pupils L 3mm/R, R 5mm/sluggish

      • Consider mannitol

    • RLE shortened and externally rotated; abrasions to chest/abd/face

      • Hare traction

    • VS: HR 122, RR 15 (BMV), BP 90/55, SpO2 100%; no family present, foley placed, OGT placed

      • Borderline hypotension w/ probable areas of hemorrhage, transfuse PRBC

    • Etomidate/succ given for intubation, patient covered w/ warm blankets

      • Monitor sedation/comfort level

    • No known past history, per EMS: pateint traveling at high rate of speed, lost control on corner, left road and rolled vehicle mulitple times, +restrained

Case study4
Case Study Trauma Patients

  • Patient goes to CT scan

    • CTH: Large R SDH, sm L temporal contusion

    • CT Chest: B rib fractures, no flail, B pulm contusions, residual ptx R w/ adequate placement of chest tube

    • CT A/P: grade 1 splenic lac, no bony abnormalities in pelvis

    • CT Cspine: C6-7 transverse process fractures

    • R femur: midshaft fracture

Case study5
Case Study Trauma Patients

  • Neurosurgery consulted

  • Orthopedic Surgery consulted

  • Critical Care consulted

  • Patient taken from ED to OR by Neurosurgery for craniotomy and evacuation of SDH. ICP monitor placed

  • While in OR, orthopedic surgery placed IM rod to R femur

  • Post op: patient admitted directly from OR suite to ICU

Case study6
Case Study Trauma Patients


Icu priorities
ICU Priorities Trauma Patients

  • Neuro

    • ICP management, sedation, analgesia

  • Pulm

    • Vent settings, pulm toilet

  • CV

    • BP management, monitor lactic acid levels

  • GI

    • Nutrition, PUD proph

  • Renal

    • Monitor urine output, monitor CK, monitor Bun/CR

  • Heme

    • DVT proph, monitor serial H/H given spleniclac

  • ID

    • Antibiotics

Icu priorities1

Neurologic system Trauma Patients

ICP management


3% saline (infusion vs bolus)

Nursing measures (elevated HOB, Ccollar not tight, decreased stimulation


Short acting agent




ICU Priorities

Icu priorities2
ICU Priorities Trauma Patients

  • Analgesia

    • Short acting narcotic (Fentanyl) as a drip

    • When to change to Morphine or Dilaudid

    • When to start per tube narcotics

      • Extended release vs immediate release

    • Adjunct to narcotics (NSAIDs, neuropathic meds, muscle relaxants)

    • Adjustments for elderly patients

Icu priorities3

Precedex Trauma Patients

When to use

Not as first line agent

Adjunct to propofol

Weaning from sedation


Who appropriate to use with

Anyone who is not bradycardic or hypotensive

Appropriate ranges


Appropriate duration

No duration, no long term effects, may get rebound HTN

ICU Priorities

Icu priorities4
ICU Priorities Trauma Patients

Pulmonary System

Vent management

What mode


Optimal ABGs

Oxygenation issues

Rescue steriods

Pulmonary toilet



Icu priorities5
ICU Priorities Trauma Patients

Cardiovasular system


LR or NS

End Points of Resuscitation

Lactic Acid, Base deficit



Noriepinephrine (Levaphed)

Neosynephrine (Phenylephrine)

Icu priorities6
ICU Priorities Trauma Patients

Gastrointestinal System



When to feed

PUD prophylaxis

H2 blocker vs PPI

Glycemic control


Bowel regimen


Icu prioties
ICU Prioties Trauma Patients

Renal System

Monitor UOP

Monitor CK

Correction of electrolytes

Icu priorities7
ICU Priorities Trauma Patients


Monitor H/H d/t spleen

Transfusion products as indicated

DVT prophylaxis

SCDs, Lovenox, subcutaneous heparin

When to start

Icu priorities8
ICU Priorities Trauma Patients

Musculoskeletal system

Neurovascular assessments

Monitor for compartment syndrome

Wound care of incisions

Icu priorities9
ICU priorities Trauma Patients

  • Tertiary exam

    • Review xrays, CT scans

      • Order films if indicated

    • Full head to toes assessment

      • Look for lacerations, road rash,

    • Follow up on labs

Icu priorities10
ICU Priorities Trauma Patients

  • Cultures

    • When to send cultures

    • What cultures to send

    • Central lines

    • Foley catheters

  • Antibiotics

    • Post op coverage

    • No coverage for ICP monitor

    • When to start for infectious process

Icu ongoing management
ICU Ongoing Management Trauma Patients

  • VAP prevention

    • Oral care, deep oral suctioning, HOB elevation w/ TF

  • CAUTI prevention

    • Early catheter removal

  • CBSI prevention

    • Remove central lines as soon as possible including PICCs

Transfer to floor
Transfer to Floor Trauma Patients

  • Communication

    • Situation

      • Don’t forget family dynamics

    • Background

      • Injuries, surgeries, future surgeries

    • Assessment

      • Head to toes by system

    • Recommendations/current therapies

Floor priorities
Floor Priorities Trauma Patients


Enteral and oral feeds

Pain management

Wean off all IV meds


PT/OT consults

Pulmonary management

IS, flutter valve, respiratory treatments, chest physiotherapy, supplemental oxygen weaning

Wound Care

Appropriate dressings

Floor priorities1
Floor Priorities Trauma Patients

  • Family education

    • Wound care

    • Activity limitations

    • What to watch for

  • Discharge Planning

    • Home

    • Rehab

    • LTAC

    • SNF

Discharge planning
Discharge Planning Trauma Patients

  • Home

    • DME

    • Wound Care

    • HH

    • Support at home

    • Transportation

    • Access into/out of home

Discharge planning1
Discharge Planning Trauma Patients

  • Rehab

    • PT/OT/ST

    • Endurance

    • Home support

Discharge planning2
Discharge Planning Trauma Patients

  • LTAC

    • Insurance

    • Medications

    • Wound Care

    • Comorbidities

    • Respiratory

Discharge planning3
Discharge Planning Trauma Patients

  • SNF

    • Insurance

      • PASSAR II

    • Family preference

    • Length of Stay at facility

    • Age

    • Required treatments

      • Trach

      • Wound care

      • Level of independance

Thank you
Thank You!!! Trauma Patients