Healthcare is a complex affair, and sometimes things don’t go entirely as planned. Occasionally, an elective OR may not be available the next day. This is especially true now in the COVID age with hospitals decreasing their OR capabilities. Or it may take longer than usual to medically clear a frail patient for surgery. But here is something to keep at top of mind:
Your patient is at their healthiest as they roll in through the emergency department door
Yes, major trauma patients are sick, but they are going to get sicker over the next few hours to days. No matter how bad they look now, they will tolerate more at the time you first see them than they will tomorrow.
Too often, we look at them and delay because “they are too sick to operate.” This is usually not the case.
Bottom line: Move quickly, get surgical clearances done promptly, and perform all interventions (especially major surgery) early before your trauma patient gets really sick!