Orthopaedic Timing in Polytrauma in a Second Level Emergency Hospital. An Overrated Problem?

Dei Giudici V*, Giampaolini N, Panfighi A, Marinelli M, Procaccini R, Gigante A
Clinical Orthopaedics, Department of Clinical and Molecular Science, School of Medicine, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Italy

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© Dei Giudici et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

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* Address correspondence to this author at the Clinical Orthopaedics, Department of Clinical and Molecular Science, School of Medicine, Università Politecnica delle Marche, via Tronto, 10/A, 60126, Ancona, Italy; Tel: +39 328 5964024, +39 071 5963346; Fax: +39 071 596 3341; E-mail:


The main concern for orthopaedic treatment in polytrauma has always been the same for almost forty years, which also regards “where” and “when” to proceed; correct surgical timing and correct interpretation of the DCO concept are still being debated. In the last few years, several attempts have been made to classify patients based on their clinical presentation and by trying to figure out which vital parameters are able to predict the patient’s outcome. This study evaluated all patients who presented with code red at the Emergency Department of our Hospital, a level II trauma center. For every patient, the following characteristics were noted: sex, age, day of hospitalization, orthopaedic trauma, time to surgery, presence of an associated surgical condition in the fields of general surgery, thoracic surgery, neurosurgery and vascular surgery, cardiac frequency, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, Glasgow Coma Scale and laboratory data. All patients included were divided into subgroups based on orthopaedic surgical timing. Two other subgroups were also identified and analyzed in detail: deceased and weekend traumas. A total of 208 patients were included. Our primary goal was to identify a correlation between the mortality and surgical timing of the orthopaedic procedures; our secondary goal was to recognize, if present, a statistically relevant association between historical, clinical and laboratory data, and mortality rate, defining any possible risk factor. A correlation between mortality and orthopaedic surgical timing was not found. Analyzing laboratory data revealed an interesting correlation between mortality and: blood pressure, platelet count, cardiac frequency, hematocrit, hemoglobin and age.

Keywords: Emergency, mortality, orthopaedic trauma, predisposing factors, polytrauma, surgical timing.