Objectives. Major injury is a time-dependent illness in which the quantification of the life prognosis is fundamental for professionals. The objective of this study is to evaluate the capacity of prehospital lactic acid to predict mortality (2, 7 and 30 days) and the admission to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) from the index event.
Methods. This is a longitudinal, prospective observational study, which included patients who were treated by an Advanced Life Support Unit and transferred to the Emergency Department between April 1 and September 30, 2018. We calculated sensitivity, specificity, and likelihood ratios. The main outcome variable was mortality from any cause (2, 7 and 30 days) and admission to ICU.
Results. 109 patients were included in our study. Eleven patients (10%) experienced early mortality before the first 48 hours after the index event, with an ICU admission rate of 28%. The sensitivity and specificity of the test to determine mortality in less than two days was 63.6% (95% CI, 35.4-84.8%) and 87.8% (95% CI, 79.8-92.9%).
Conclusions. Prehospital lactic acid has an excellent capacity to predict the mortality and the admission of patients with major injury to the ICU, and it is a cheap, easy-to-obtain and reliable diagnostic tool that can help in clinical decision-making.
Key words: Critical care, emergency department, outcome, survival, intensive care