FREE PHTLS 7th Edition Questions and Answers


What indicates that a trauma patient's ventilator is not working well enough?

Correct! Wrong!

One of the possibilities that indicates ventilatory inadequacy in a trauma patient is ""Speaking in short bursts.""

Even though equal breath sounds, a ventilatory rate of 12 breaths per minute, and a 95% SpO2 on room air might seem like indicators of sufficient ventilation and oxygenation, they don't always mean that there isn't enough ventilation, particularly when trauma is involved. Even if a trauma patient's vital signs appear reasonably normal at first, they may have additional injuries or physiological abnormalities that impair their ability to breathe.

The most alarming indication of ventilatory inadequacy in a trauma patient is speaking in brief bursts, which indicates trouble breathing or respiratory distress. This should trigger an early examination and intervention to guarantee adequate ventilation and oxygenation.

What is the most frequent reason why trauma patients experience upper airway obstruction?

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The tongue is the most frequent source of upper airway blockage in trauma patients.

The tongue's typical supporting muscles may relax in a trauma patient who loses consciousness or becomes unresponsive as a result of their injuries. The tongue may then slide back down the throat, blocking the upper airway and preventing air from entering the lungs. This is referred to as posterior displacement of the tongue or tongue blockage.

When a trauma sufferer passes out or becomes unconscious from their injuries, the normal supportive muscles of the tongue may relax. The upper airway may then get blocked and air cannot enter the lungs as a result of the tongue sliding back down the throat. This is known as tongue obstruction or posterior displacement of the tongue.

Although other elements like blood, teeth, or vomitus can also cause upper airway obstruction in trauma patients, tongue obstruction is typically more common than these other factors—especially in the early phases of trauma care. They should still be taken into account and dealt with, meanwhile, as part of a thorough evaluation and treatment strategy for trauma patients who present with compromised airways.

You observe that a trauma patient is angry, confused, and looks to have several injuries from an altercation during the initial survey. Your top decision for treatment should be one of the following:

Correct! Wrong!

Ensuring adequate oxygenation is a high concern in the primary survey of a trauma patient. The correct answer is "Correction of possible hypoxia." Hypoxia, or insufficient oxygenation of the body's tissues, can exacerbate an already dire situation for the patient, especially when there are several wounds and agitation present. In this case, hypoxia or underlying respiratory distress may be indicated by the patient's agitation and bewilderment, which calls for immediate medical attention. Since hypoxia must be corrected in order to stabilize the patient's condition and stop further neurological damage, agitation and confusion may be indicators of insufficient oxygen reaching the brain. As a result, the first goal of treatment should be to correct any potential hypoxia by giving the patient extra oxygen, making sure their airways are open, and supporting ventilation as necessary. After addressing the patient's oxygenation state, additional injury assessment and care can be carried out as part of the initial survey.

When a healthy adult has early hypotension, what percentage of blood is lost?

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The right response is "15% to 30%." In a healthy adult, blood loss of 15% to 30% is usually associated with hypotension. Class I or class II hemorrhagic shock, based on the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) classification system, is what this kind of blood loss would be. The body first uses a variety of strategies, including vasoconstriction, an accelerated heartbeat, and the diversion of blood flow to essential organs, to make up for blood loss during hemorrhagic shock. Even in the face of continuous blood loss, these compensatory processes aid in keeping blood pressure within normal limits. However, compensatory mechanisms are overwhelmed and hypotension results after blood loss reaches 15% to 30% of total blood volume. When hypotension falls into this range, the body's capacity to keep essential organs perfused is weakened, which can cause shock. It is noteworthy that the precise threshold for hypotension may differ based on personal factors including age, pre-existing medical disorders, and baseline health status. In addition, the onset and severity of hypotension in reaction to blood loss might be influenced by the existence of underlying conditions such as continuing hemorrhage or pre-existing hypovolemia. In conclusion, hypotension in a healthy adult usually manifests at 15% to 30% of blood loss, signaling the beginning of hemorrhagic shock and emphasizing the urgency of early detection and treatment to stop the condition from getting worse.

Which of the following could be brought on by trauma victims taking medication for preexisting conditions?

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The right response is: "Beta blockers may prevent tachycardia with blood loss." Beta blockers are drugs that are frequently prescribed to treat illnesses like high blood pressure, angina, and some cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats). They function by preventing the heart from being affected by stress hormones like adrenaline (epinephrine), which can lower heart rate and weaken cardiac contractions. Beta blockers may inhibit or prevent the body's normal reaction to blood loss in trauma patients, which includes tachycardia—an increase in heart rate—as a compensatory strategy to preserve cardiac output and organ perfusion. Beta blockers can suppress this compensatory reaction and prevent or postpone the emergence of tachycardia, a crucial clinical indicator of hemorrhagic shock, by preventing the effects of adrenaline. Though the effects of herbal preparations on blood clotting—which might vary depending on the particular herb and its properties—may be observed, this is not a direct result of the drug trauma patients were taking for underlying problems. Contrary to popular belief, anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) do not usually improve blood coagulation; in fact, several of them can inhibit platelet activity and raise the risk of bleeding. By obstructing the calcium channels in the heart and blood arteries, which causes vasodilation and reduced cardiac contractility, calcium channel blockers are used to treat disorders like hypertension and some cardiac arrhythmias. Calcium channel blockers may affect cardiovascular health and blood pressure, however there is no concrete proof that they delay the onset of shock in trauma patients. Thus, it is more true to say that beta blockers may prevent tachycardia with blood loss in trauma patients with preexisting illnesses, perhaps hiding a critical clinical symptom of hemorrhagic shock.

The male patient, age 20, was diving to catch a football when he banged his head on a teammate's knee. There was no helmet on him. He has a GCS of 4, indicating decerebrate posturing. His blood pressure is 180/102, his left pupil is dilated, and his heart rate is 58. Which breathing rate is ideal for this patient's care?

Correct! Wrong!

A serious brain injury and imminent herniation are suggested by the patient's appearance, which includes decerebrate posturing, a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of 4, symptoms of increasing intracranial pressure (dilated left pupil), bradycardic heart rate, and hypertension. Ten breaths per minute would be the ideal ventilation rate in this situation for the patient to be managed.

This is justified by the concepts of managing traumatic brain injury (TBI) and permissive hypercapnia. Reducing the breathing rate to a point where a moderate case of hypercapnia (high carbon dioxide levels) develops is known as permissive hypercapnia. This is done to stop hyperventilation-induced vasoconstriction from causing further drops in intracranial pressure (ICP) and cerebral blood flow.

Hyperventilation can cause cerebral vasoconstriction in patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), which might worsen the outcome by decreasing cerebral blood flow and aggravating ischemia. In order to prevent severe hyperventilation and to maintain a little raised carbon dioxide level, which helps to prevent further reductions in cerebral blood flow and ICP, a lower ventilation rate (such as 10 breaths per minute) is sometimes used.

It's crucial to remember that treating severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) requires a multidisciplinary approach. In addition to ventilatory care, interventions including elevating the head of the bed, implementing neuroprotective measures, and maybe administering hyperosmolar therapy may also be necessary. In addition, considering the extent of their injuries, this patient might need immediate neurosurgical care. In this scenario, prompt transfer to a facility equipped to handle serious brain trauma is crucial.

A middle-aged man who was involved in a motorbike crash is your patient. He doesn't respond at all. You observe the patient is snoring at a rate of six after employing a modified jaw push to open the airway. On the left side, auscultation indicates no breath sounds. The following course of action ought to be:

Correct! Wrong!

The patient's airway is likely compromised due to a tension pneumothorax, as shown by the snoring respirations and absent breath sounds on the left side. The correct course of action in this case would be to ""Perform a needle decompression."" When air builds up in the pleural space and is unable to exit, pressure builds up gradually and can compress the lung and move the mediastinum, impairing cardiac output and creating respiratory distress. This condition is known as a tension pneumothorax.

A large-bore needle is inserted into the pleural cavity during a needle decompression procedure in order to release trapped air and reduce pressure. By taking this action, the patient's respiratory condition can be quickly restored and future decline can be avoided. In the treatment of tension pneumothorax, which can be fatal if left untreated, it is an essential intervention. By raising intrathoracic pressure, putting on a non-rebreather mask, starting ventilation with a bag-valve-mask (BVM), or inserting an endotracheal tube may not effectively treat the underlying cause of a tension pneumothorax and may even make the patient's condition worse. In order to relieve the tension pneumothorax and enhance the patient's respiratory status, needle decompression is the most suitable course of action in this particular situation.

Which is the primary justification for keeping the trauma patient's airway open?

Correct! Wrong!

In trauma patients, the primary rationale for keeping the airway open is ""To prevent hypoxemia and hypercarbia."" Hypoxemia is defined as low blood oxygen levels, while hypercarbia is defined as high blood carbon dioxide levels. These disorders can arise from compromised or clogged airways, which result in insufficient breathing and oxygenation.

Keeping the airway open in trauma patients is critical to providing enough breathing and oxygen, both of which are necessary to sustain life. A weakened airway can swiftly result in hypercarbia and hypoxemia, which can cause fatalities as well as major side effects such organ failure and brain damage. The basic objective of airway control is to maintain adequate oxygenation and ventilation; snoring respirations, aspiration, pneumonia, and keeping the tongue from obstructing the pharynx are all essential secondary considerations. Thus, the primary motivation for keeping a trauma patient's airway open is to avoid hypoxemia and hypercarbia, which are potentially fatal conditions that call for quick medical attention to guarantee the patient's survival.

Which is the most serious side effect of suctioning trauma patients for an extended period of time?

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It is reasonable to presume that a trauma patient may experience hypotension of unknown etiology. from:

Correct! Wrong!

The right response is "blood loss." Until proven differently, blood loss should be considered the most likely cause in trauma patients who come with hypotension of unknown etiology. Blood loss can happen internally from injuries such organ damage or massive bone fractures, or outwardly from apparent wounds. Whatever the mechanism, severe blood loss can result in hypovolemic shock, which is defined as insufficient blood volume in circulation, which causes hypotension and inadequate tissue perfusion.

Your emergency medical squad is on its way to the attack scene. According to dispatch data, law enforcement is still not present at the location. In this case, the best course of action is:

Correct! Wrong!

The safety of EMS personnel is key in potentially dangerous situations like assaults or violent incidents. The safest course of action in the scenario described, where law enforcement has not yet arrived on the scene of an assault, is to "Staging at a safe location away from the scene until law enforcement advises the scene is safe." It is imperative to hold off on providing medical attention until police enforcement has had a chance to secure the area and make sure it is safe for them to enter. EMS personnel can avoid danger by staging in a secure spot away from the site and remain available to react as soon as law enforcement has secured the area. This strategy reduces the possibility of EMS personnel becoming hurt and allows them to treat patients as soon as the location is judged safe. EMS workers may be at danger if they attempt to inspect the site without following the correct security protocols or begin providing care before law enforcement arrives. Thus, the best and safest plan of action in this case is to stage at a secure location until law enforcement indicates that the scene is secure.

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