Occult hypoperfusion--should the military surgeon care?
ABSTRACT The treatment of traumatic shock has changed unrecognizably over the past decade as the combination of targeted research and lessons learnt from conflict have combined with a common goal. The term damage control resuscitation has emerged as the most likely strategy to treat the underlying cause, restore normal physiology and ultimately return to normal function. However, there is still a great deal that we do not understand as to the underlying mechanisms which control the traumatic shock process. Military surgeons have an integral part to play at every step of this process. Their role does not end once the initial damage control surgery is complete and indeed the decisions that are made during the initial resuscitation will have an effect on all future stages of care. The patient's physiology is delicately balanced with the possibility that a wrong treatment decision may be a fatal one. It is essential that the surgeon has an understanding of these underlying processes so that an informed decision can be made at the right time.