Early after trauma, changes in blood lactate over time, defined as lactate clearance, provide additional information predicting mortality in trauma patients according to a study from the December issue of Anesthesiology. Researchers in Paris determined lactate clearance along with the initial blood lactate levels and early injury severity scores provide additional predictive information to best treat patients.
Trauma is the third overall cause of death and the first before 40 years of age. An estimated 80 percent of deaths occur within the first 48 hours after trauma, and hemorrhage is one of the leading contributors to trauma death. Treatment of trauma includes recognizing and treating hemorrhage early, as well as limiting the amount shock.
"Hemorrhage dampens oxygen delivery to organs and this, in turn, leads to lactate production," said study author Mathieu Raux, M.D., Ph.D. "However, this phenomenon can be difficult to diagnose in trauma patients. Our study aimed to demonstrate whether blood lactate and lactate clearance levels at the time of arrival in a trauma center predict massive hemorrhage, injury severity, requirement for emergency procedures and mortality."