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Benefits of Standardizing Additional Airway Clearance in the Trauma Patient Population

Hanlon, Valerie D. BSN; White, Freda MSN, MBA; Hustosky, Amanda E. ADN; McCormick, Christopher A. BS; Hayes, Eric J. BA; Wilson, Alison MD

doi: 10.1097/JTN.0000000000000045

The objective of this project was the development of a systematic preventative approach toward the treatment of respiratory complications among the trauma population. The team used and documented existing treatment regimens within specific study groups, to determine an effective structure to combat respiratory complications. The project included retrospective data collected from the Trauma Registry of an American College of Surgeons verified Level 1, adult rural, academic facility. Review data indicated significant inconsistencies in the pulmonary treatment among the trauma population. Pulmonary hygiene orders lacked consistency, and the patient-focused standards of care led to the creation of nonspecific or omitted orders. The results of the analysis revealed that the overall rate of unplanned upgrades to the higher level of care and intubations due to respiratory compromise were significantly impacted by the design of a collaborative pulmonary care regimen defining role delineation, timelines, and education. This project provided support to the credence of the designated pathway.

West Virginia University Hospitals, Morgantown.

Correspondence: Valerie D. Hanlon, BSN, West Virginia University Hospitals, Morgantown, WV 26506 (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2014 by the Society of Trauma Nurses.