Shock Index for the Prediction of Interventions and Mortality in Patients With Blunt Thoracic Trauma

Published:November 23, 2022DOI:



      Shock index (SI) is a bedside simple scoring tool; however, it has not yet been tested in blunt thorax trauma (BTT). We sought to evaluate the prognostic value of SI for chest interventions (thoracostomy tube or thoracotomy), blood transfusion, and mortality in patients with BTT. We hypothesized that high SI is associated with worse outcomes in patients with BTT.


      We conducted a retrospective analysis of all BTT patients (chest Abbreviated Injury Score [AIS] > 1) hospitalized in a level 1 trauma center between 2011 and 2020. Patients with AIS >1 for head or abdominal injuries and patients undergoing open reduction and internal fixation surgery or penetrating injuries were excluded. Patients were categorized into two groups (low SI <0.80 versus high SI ≥0.80) based on the receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. Multivariable regression analysis was performed to identify the predictors of mortality.


      A total of 1645 patients were admitted with BTT; of them, 24.5% had high SI. The mean age was 39.2 ± 15.2 y, and most were males (91%). Patients with high SI were younger, had sustained severer injuries, and required more chest interventions (P = 0.001), blood transfusion (P = 0.001), and massive transfusion protocol activation (P = 0.001) compared with low SI group. The overall in-hospital mortality rate was 2.6%, which was more in the high SI group (8.2% versus 0.8%; P = 0.001). SI significantly correlated with age (r = −0.281), injury severity score (r = 0.418), Glasgow Come Score on arrival (r = −0.377), Trauma and Injury Severity Score (r = −0.144), Revised Trauma Score (r = −0.219), serum lactate (r = 0.434), blood transfusion units (r = 0.418), and chest AIS (r = 0.066). SI was an independent predictor of mortality (odds ratio 3.506; 95% confidence interval 1.389-8.848; P = 0.008), and this effect persisted after adjustment for chest intervention (odds ratio 2.923; 95% confidence interval 1.146-7.455; P = 0.02).


      The present study highlights the prognostic value of SI as a rapid bedside tool to predict the use of interventions and the risk of mortality in patients with BTT. The study findings help the emergency physicians for early and appropriate risk stratification and triaging of patients with BTT.


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