"Death Diamond" Tracing on Thromboelastography as a Marker of Poor Survival After Trauma.
BACKGROUND: Improvements in health care innovations have resulted in an enhanced ability to extend patient viability. As a consequence, resources are being increasingly utilized at an unsustainable level. As we implement novel treatments, identifying futility should be a focus. The "death diamond" (DD) is a unique thrombelastography (TEG) tracing that is indicative of failure of the coagulation system, with a mortality rate exceeding 90%. The purpose of this study was to determine if the DD was a consistent marker of poor survival in a multicenter study population. We hypothesize that the DD, while an infrequent occurrence, predicts poor survival and can be used to stratify patients in whom resuscitation efforts are futile.
METHODS: A retrospective multi-institutional study of trauma patients presenting with TEG DDs between 8/2008 and 12/2018 at four American College of Surgeons trauma centers was completed. Demographics, injury mechanisms, TEG results, management, and survival were examined.
RESULTS: A total of 50 trauma patients presented with DD tracings, with a 94% (n = 47) mortality rate. Twenty-six (52%) patients received a repeat TEG with 10 patients re-demonstrating the DD tracing. There was 100% mortality in patients with serial DD tracings. The median use of total blood products was 18 units (interquartile range 6, 34.25) per patient.
DISCUSSION: The DD is highly predictive of trauma-associated mortality. This multicenter study highlights that serial DDs may represent a possible biomarker of futility.
Published In/Presented At
Farrell, M. S., Moore, E. E., Thomas, A. V., Coleman, J. R., Thomas, S., Vande Lune, S., Marconi, T., Jr, Cohen, M. J., Chapman, M. P., Moore, H. B., Walsh, M. M., & Sixta, S. (2022). "Death Diamond" Tracing on Thromboelastography as a Marker of Poor Survival After Trauma. The American surgeon, 88(7), 1689–1693. https://doi.org/10.1177/0003134821998684
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Surgery