Faster refill in an urban emergency medical services system saves lives: A prospective preliminary evaluation of a prehospital advanced resuscitative care bundle

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Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery


INTRODUCTION Military experience has demonstrated mortality improvement when advanced resuscitative care (ARC) is provided for trauma patients with severe hemorrhage. The benefits of ARC for trauma in civilian emergency medical services (EMS) systems with short transport intervals are still unknown. We hypothesized that ARC implementation in an urban EMS system would reduce in-hospital mortality. METHODS This was a prospective analysis of ARC bundle administration between 2021 and 2023 in an urban EMS system with 70,000 annual responses. The ARC bundle consisted of calcium, tranexamic acid, and packed red blood cells via a rapid infuser. Advanced resuscitative care patients were compared with trauma registry controls from 2016 to 2019. Included were patients with a penetrating injury and systolic blood pressure ≤ 90 mm Hg. Excluded were isolated head trauma or prehospital cardiac arrest. In-hospital mortality was the primary outcome of interest. RESULTS A total of 210 patients (ARC, 61; controls, 149) met the criteria. The median age was 32 years, with no difference in demographics, initial systolic blood pressure or heart rate recorded by EMS, or New Injury Severity Score between groups. At hospital arrival, ARC patients had lower median heart rate and shock index than controls (p ≤ 0.03). Fewer patients in the ARC group required prehospital advanced airway placement (p < 0.001). Twenty-four-hour and total in-hospital mortality were lower in the ARC group (p ≤ 0.04). Multivariable regression revealed an independent reduction in in-hospital mortality with ARC (odds ratio, 0.19; 95% confidence interval, 0.05-0.68; p = 0.01). CONCLUSION Early ARC in a fast-paced urban EMS system is achievable and may improve physiologic derangements while decreasing patient mortality. Advanced resuscitative care closer to the point of injury warrants consideration. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Therapeutic/Care Management; Level IV.

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