The time during which patients are transported to hospitals can often be very critical in terms of survival and long-term health outcomes. During this time, it is imperative for medics to establish and understand the severity of patients’ injuries in order to notify hospitals ahead of time of their arrival. This understanding is especially crucial in situations such as combat where a distinction must be made between those patients whose lives may be in danger from large quantities of blood loss and those patients who aren’t at risk. Recently, a team of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and the United States Army tested a system designed to accurately monitor patients’ vital signs during transport to hospitals and trauma centers.
The system, known as APPRAISE, abbreviated for Automated Processing of the Physiological Registry for Assessment of Injury Severity, is composed of a computer linked to a patient monitor. It functions by analyzing data points gathered from vital sign monitors and uses statistical techniques to determine the accuracy of these data points. The APPRAISE system was found to be very successful in determining whether or not a patient has suffered a fatal hemorrhage based off of an analysis of vital signs. This system was tested through a research study that involved utilizing the software in helicopters and gathering data from over two hundred individuals during transport to various Boston Hospitals in 2012.
The APPRAISE system was able to accurately identify between 75 to 80 percent of patients with fatal hemorrhages. Compared to ordinary identification by medics, which has a 50 percent success rate, the system proved to be a more reliable tool for injury severity discrimination during patient transport. With the increased diagnostic accuracy provided by the system, hospitals are able to prepare for the arrival of patients who are identified as critically injured and can make decisions regarding whether there is a need for surgery or blood transfusions prior to the arrival of the patient. This novel device represents a major technological advance as it could help reduce the likelihood of fatalities and critical injuries among transported patients both in the military and in civilian life.
Morrison, M. (2015, May 15). Computerized vital signs analysis may help prevent trauma patients from bleeding to death – Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Retrieved June 20, 2015, from http://www.massgeneral.org/about/pressrelease.aspx?id=1810