Clay Cothren Burlew

University of Colorado Hospital, Denver, Colorado, United States

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Publications (54)86.09 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: A dramatic rise in nonoperative management of many blunt and some penetrating traumatic injuries has occurred during the past four decades. This trend has lead some to suggest that trauma is no longer a surgical disease. We questioned what role the trauma surgeon plays in the care of the injured patient. We hypothesized that surgical intervention and judgment are still often required in both injured children and adults.
    The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 08/2014; 77(2):219-225. · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the efficacy of IV iron supplementation of anemic, critically ill trauma patients. Multicenter, randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Four trauma ICUs. Anemic (hemoglobin < 12 g/dL) trauma patients enrolled within 72 hours of ICU admission and with an expected ICU length of stay of more than or equal to 5 days. Randomization to iron sucrose 100 mg IV or placebo thrice weekly for up to 2 weeks. A total of 150 patients were enrolled. Baseline iron markers were consistent with functional iron deficiency: 134 patients (89.3%) were hypoferremic, 51 (34.0%) were hyperferritinemic, and 64 (42.7%) demonstrated iron-deficient erythropoiesis as evidenced by an elevated erythrocyte zinc protoporphyrin concentration. The median baseline transferrin saturation was 8% (range, 2-58%). In the subgroup of patients who received all six doses of study drug (n = 57), the serum ferritin concentration increased significantly for the iron as compared with placebo group on both day 7 (808.0 ng/mL vs 457.0 ng/mL, respectively, p < 0.01) and day 14 (1,046.0 ng/mL vs 551.5 ng/mL, respectively, p < 0.01). There was no significant difference between groups in transferrin saturation, erythrocyte zinc protoporphyrin concentration, hemoglobin concentration, or packed RBC transfusion requirement. There was no significant difference between groups in the risk of infection, length of stay, or mortality. Iron supplementation increased the serum ferritin concentration significantly, but it had no discernible effect on transferrin saturation, iron-deficient erythropoiesis, hemoglobin concentration, or packed RBC transfusion requirement. Based on these data, routine IV iron supplementation of anemic, critically ill trauma patients cannot be recommended (NCT 01180894).
    Critical care medicine 05/2014; · 6.37 Impact Factor
  • The journal of trauma and acute care surgery. 05/2014; 76(5):1328-31.
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    ABSTRACT: Early tracheostomy has been advocated for adult trauma patients to improve outcomes and resource utilization. We hypothesized that timing of tracheostomy for severely injured children would similarly impact outcomes. Injured children undergoing tracheostomy over a 10-year period (2002-2012) were reviewed. Early tracheostomy was defined as post-injury day ≤7. Data were compared using Student's t test, Pearson chi-squared test and Fisher exact test. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05 with 95% confidence intervals. During the 10-year study period, 91 patients underwent tracheostomy following injury. Twenty-nine (32%) patients were <12years old; of these, 38% received early tracheostomy. Sixty-two (68%) patients were age 13 to 18; of these, 52% underwent early tracheostomy. Patients undergoing early tracheostomy had fewer ventilator days (p=0.003), ICU days (p=0.003), hospital days (p=0.046), and tracheal complications (p=0.03) compared to late tracheostomy. There was no difference in pneumonia (p=0.48) between early and late tracheostomy. Children undergoing early tracheostomy had improved outcomes compared to those who underwent late tracheostomy. Early tracheostomy should be considered for the severely injured child. Early tracheostomy is advocated for adult trauma patients to improve patient comfort and resource utilization. In a review of 91 pediatric trauma patients undergoing tracheostomy, those undergoing tracheostomy on post-injury day ≤7 had fewer ventilator days, ICU days, hospital days, and tracheal complications compared to those undergoing tracheostomy after post-injury day 7.
    Journal of Pediatric Surgery 04/2014; 49(4):590-2. · 1.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The diagnosis of blunt abdominal trauma can be challenging and resource intensive. Observation with serial clinical assessments plays a major role in the evaluation of these patients, but the time required for intra-abdominal injury to become clinically apparent is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the amount of time required for an intra-abdominal injury to become clinically apparent after blunt abdominal trauma via physical examination or commonly followed clinical values. A retrospective review of patients who sustained blunt trauma resulting in intra-abdominal injury between June 2010 and June 2012 at a Level 1 academic trauma center was performed. Patient demographics, injuries, and the amount of time from emergency department admission to sign or symptom development and subsequent diagnosis were recorded. All diagnoses were made by computed tomography or at the time of surgery. Patient transfers from other hospitals were excluded. Of 3,574 blunt trauma patients admitted to the hospital, 285 (8%) experienced intra-abdominal injuries. The mean (SD) age was 36 (17) years, the majority were male (194 patients, 68%) and the mean (SD) Injury Severity Score (ISS) was 21 (14). The mean (SD) time from admission to diagnosis via computed tomography or surgery was 74 (55) minutes. Eighty patients (28%) required either surgery (78 patients, 17%) or radiographic embolization (2 patients, 0.7%) for their injury. All patients who required intervention demonstrated a sign or symptom of their intra-abdominal injury within 60 minutes of arrival, although two patients were intervened upon in a delayed fashion. All patients with a blunt intra-abdominal injury manifested a clinical sign or symptom of their intra-abdominal injury, resulting in their diagnosis within 8 hours 25 minutes of arrival to the hospital. All diagnosed intra-abdominal injuries from blunt trauma manifested clinical signs or symptoms that could prompt imaging or intervention, leading to their diagnosis within 8 hours 25 minutes of arrival to the hospital. All patients who required an intervention for their injury manifested a sign or symptom of their injury within 60 minutes of arrival. Therapeutic study, level IV. Epidemiologic study, level III.
    The journal of trauma and acute care surgery. 04/2014; 76(4):1020-3.
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    ABSTRACT: While the incidence of postinjury multiple-organ failure (MOF) has declined during the past decade, temporal trends of its morbidity, mortality, presentation patterns, and health care resources use have been inconsistent. The purpose of this study was to describe the evolving epidemiology of postinjury MOF from 2003 to 2010 in multiple trauma centers sharing standard treatment protocols. "Inflammation and Host Response to Injury Collaborative Program" institutions that enrolled more than 20 eligible patients per biennial during the 2003 to 2010 study period were included. The patients were aged 16 years to 90 years, sustained blunt torso trauma with hemorrhagic shock (systolic blood pressure < 90 mm Hg, base deficit ≥ 6 mEq/L, blood transfusion within the first 12 hours), but without severe head injury (motor Glasgow Coma Scale [GCS] score < 4). MOF temporal trends (Denver MOF score > 3) were adjusted for admission risk factors (age, sex, body max index, Injury Severity Score [ISS], systolic blood pressure, and base deficit) using survival analysis. A total of 1,643 patients from four institutions were evaluated. MOF incidence decreased over time (from 17% in 2003-2004 to 9.8% in 2009-2010). MOF-related death rate (33% in 2003-2004 to 36% in 2009-2010), intensive care unit stay, and mechanical ventilation duration did not change over the study period. Adjustment for admission risk factors confirmed the crude trends. MOF patients required much longer ventilation and intensive care unit stay, compared with non-MOF patients. Most of the MOF-related deaths occurred within 2 days of the MOF diagnosis. Lung and cardiac dysfunctions became less frequent (57.6% to 50.8%, 20.9% to 12.5%, respectively), but kidney and liver failure rates did not change (10.1% to 12.5%, 15.2% to 14.1%). Postinjury MOF remains a resource-intensive, morbid, and lethal condition. Lung injury is an enduring challenge and should be a research priority. The lack of outcome improvements suggests that reversing MOF is difficult and prevention is still the best strategy. Epidemiologic study, level III.
    The journal of trauma and acute care surgery. 03/2014; 76(3):582-593.
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    ABSTRACT: Gunshot wounds and blast injuries to the face (GSWBIFs) produce complex wounds requiring management by multiple surgical specialties. Previous work is limited to single institution reports with little information on processes of care or outcome. We sought to determine those factors associated with hospital complications and mortality. We performed an 11-year multicenter retrospective cohort analysis of patients sustaining GSWBIF. The face, defined as the area anterior to the external auditory meatuses from the top of the forehead to the chin, was categorized into three zones: I, the chin to the base of the nose; II, the base of the nose to the eyebrows; III, above the brows. We analyzed the effect of multiple factors on outcome. From January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2010, we treated 720 patients with GSWBIF (539 males, 75%), with a median age of 29 years. The wounding agent was handgun in 41%, explosive (shotgun and blast) in 20%, rifle in 6%, and unknown in 33%. Prehospital or resuscitative phase airway was required in 236 patients (33%). Definitive care was rendered by multiple specialties in 271 patients (38%). Overall, 185 patients died (26%), 146 (79%) within 48 hours. Of the 481 patients hospitalized greater than 48 hours, 184 had at least one complication (38%). Factors significantly associated with any of a total of 207 complications were total number of operations (p < 0.001), Revised Trauma Score (RTS, p < 0.001), and head Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) score (p < 0.05). Factors significantly associated with mortality were RTS (p < 0.001), head AIS score (p < 0.001), total number of operations (p < 0.001), and age (p < 0.05). An injury located in Zone III was independently associated with mortality (p < 0.001). GSWBIFs have high mortality and are associated with significant morbidity. The multispecialty involvement required for definitive care necessitates triage to a trauma center and underscores the need for an organized approach and the development of effective guidelines. Therapeutic/care management, level III.
    The journal of trauma and acute care surgery. 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Penetrating cardiac injuries (PCI) causing tamponade causes subendocardial ischemia, arrhythmias, and cardiac arrest. Pericardial drainage is an important principle, but where drainage should be performed is debated. We hypothesize that drainage in the emergency department (ED) does not delay definitive repair. Over a 16-year period, patients sustaining PCI were reviewed. Seventy-eight patients with PCI survived to the operating room (OR), with 39 undergoing ED thoracotomy. An additional 39 patients underwent pericardial drainage, 17 (44%) in the ED and 22 in the OR. Comparing the ED with OR pericardial drainage groups, they had a similar ED systolic pressure (99 ± 25 vs 99 ± 34), heart rate (103 ± 16 vs 85 ± 37), median time to the OR (20 vs 22 min), and mortality (12% vs 23%). ED pericardial drainage for PCI did not appear to delay operation and had an acceptably low mortality rate. Pericardial drainage is a viable option for stabilization before definitive surgery when surgical intervention is not immediately available in the hemodynamically marginal patient.
    American journal of surgery 01/2014; · 2.36 Impact Factor
  • Harry J. Henteleff, Neil G. Parry, Clay Cothren Burlew
    Journal of the American College of Surgeons 01/2014; 218(6):1251–1253. · 4.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background The role of stenting for blunt cerebrovascular injuries (BCVI) continues to be debated, with a trend toward more endovascular stenting. With the recent intracranial stenting trial halted in favor of medical therapy, however, management of BCVI warrants reassessment. The study purpose was to determine if antithrombotic therapy, rather than stenting, was effective in post-injury patients with high-grade vascular dissections and pseudoaneurysms. Study Design In 1996 we began screening for BCVI. Following the 2005 report on the risks of carotid stenting for BCVI, a virtual moratorium was placed on stenting at our institution; our primary therapy for BCVI has been antithrombotics. Patients with grade II (luminal narrowing > 25%) and grade III (pseudoaneurysms) injuries were included in the analysis. Results Grade II or III BCVIs were diagnosed in 195 patients. Prior to 2005, 25% (21/86) of patients underwent stent placement with 2 patients suffering stroke. Of patients treated with antithrombotics, 1 had a stroke. After 2005, only 2% (2/109) of patients with high-grade injuries had stents placed. After 2005 no patient treated with antithrombotics suffered a stroke and there was no rupture of a pseudoaneurysm. Conclusions Antithrombotic treatment for BCVI is effective for stroke prevention. Routine stenting entails increased costs and potential risk for stroke, and does not appear to add further benefit. Intravascular stents should be reserved for the rare patient with symptomatology or a markedly enlarging pseudoaneurysm.
    Journal of the American College of Surgeons 01/2014; · 4.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The liberal use of computed tomographic (CT) scanning during the evaluation of injured children has increased their exposure to the risks of ionizing radiation. We hypothesized that CT imaging performed for mechanism of injury alone is unnecessary and that serious or life-threatening injury is rarely identified. All pediatric blunt trauma team evaluations (age < 15 years) at a pediatric Level 2 trauma center over 72 months were reviewed. CT findings in patients with normal Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, vital signs (VS), and physical examination (PE) (Group I) were compared with Group II (GCS score < 15), Group III (abnormal VS/PE), and Group IV (abnormal GCS score, VS/PE). Variables associated with any positive finding were entered into a multiple logistic regression model to assess for independent contributions. Each patient's total effective radiation dose from CT scans in millisieverts was calculated using an age-adjusted scale. A total 174 children met trauma team activation criteria (mean [SD] age, 7 [5] years; 63% male; mean [SD] Injury Severity Score [ISS], 10 [10]). A total of 153 (88%) were imaged by CT (I, 54 of 66; II, 25 of 25; III, 49 of 57; IV, 25 of 26). No patient in Group I had a serious finding on CT compared with Group II (17 of 77), III (25 of 111), and IV (18 of 72). Mortality was 4%. Radiation dose (mSv) from CT was not different among the groups (I, 17 [14]; II, 29 [13]; III, 21 [16]; IV, 27 [17]). By univariate analysis, GCS score of less than 15 (p < 0.01) and respiratory rate of greater than 30 (p = 0.09) were associated with a positive CT finding. By logistic regression analysis, GCS score of less than 15 remained the only variable associated significantly with a positive finding (odds ratio, 6.7; 95% confidence interval, 3-14; p < 0.01). In children imaged based only on mechanism, no patient had a serious positive finding but was subjected to radiation doses associated with an increased risk of future malignancy. The use of CT imaging in injured children in the absence of a physiologic or anatomic abnormality does not seem to be justified. Care management study, level IV.
    The journal of trauma and acute care surgery. 12/2013; 75(6):995-1001.
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    ABSTRACT: Emergency repair of complicated abdominal hernias is associated with poor prognosis and a high rate of post-operative complications.A World Society of Emergency Surgery (WSES) Consensus Conference was held in Bergamo in July 2013, during the 2nd Congress of the World Society of Emergency Surgery with the goal of defining recommendations for emergency repair of abdominal wall hernias in adults. This document represents the executive summary of the consensus conference approved by a WSES expert panel.
    World Journal of Emergency Surgery 12/2013; 8(1):50. · 0.92 Impact Factor
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    The journal of trauma and acute care surgery. 11/2013; 75(5):882-7.
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    ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: A child's risk of developing cancer from radiation exposure associated with computed tomography (CT) imaging is estimated to be as high as 1/500. Chest CT (CCT), often as part of a "pan-scan," is increasingly performed after blunt trauma in children. We hypothesized that routine CCT for the initial evaluation of blunt injured children does not add clinically useful information beyond chest radiograph (CXR) and rarely changes management. METHODS: Pediatric (<15 y) trauma team evaluations over 6 y at an academic Level I trauma center were reviewed. Demographic data, injuries, imaging, and management were identified for all patients undergoing CT. Effective radiation dose in milliSieverts (mSv) was calculated using age-adjusted scales. RESULTS: Fifty-seven of 174 children (33%) undergoing CT imaging had a CCT; 55 (97%) of these had a CXR. Pathology was identified in significantly fewer CXRs compared with CCTs (51% versus 83%, P < 0.001). All 7/57 (12%) emergent or urgent chest interventions were based on information from CXR. In 53 children (93%), the CCT was ordered as part of a pan-scan, resulting in a radiation dose of 37.69 ± 7.80 mSv from initial CT scans. Radiation dose was significantly greater from CCT than from CXR (8.7 ± 1.1 mSv versus 0.017 ± 0.002 mSv, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Clinically useful information found on CCT had good correlation to information obtained from CXR and did not change patient management, however, did add significantly to the radiation exposure of initial imaging. We recommend selective use of CCT, particularly in the presence of an abnormal mediastinal silhouette on CXR after a significant deceleration injury.
    Journal of Surgical Research 05/2013; · 2.02 Impact Factor
  • The journal of trauma and acute care surgery. 05/2013; 74(5):1376-7.
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Urinary tract infection (UTI) in trauma patients is associated with increased mortality. Whether the urinalysis (UA) is an adequate test for a urinary source of fever in the ICU trauma patient has not been demonstrated. We hypothesized that the UA is a valuable screen for UTI in the febrile, critically ill trauma patient. STUDY DESIGN: All trauma ICU patients in our surgical ICU who had a fever (temperature >38.0°C), urinary catheter, UA, and a urine culture between January 1, 2011 and December 13, 2011 were reviewed. A positive UA was defined as positive leukocyte esterase, positive nitrite, WBC > 10/high power field, or presence of bacteria. A positive urine culture was defined as growth of ≥10(5) colony forming units (cfu) of an organism irrespective of the UA result or ≥10(3) cfu in the setting of a positive UA. A UTI was defined as positive urine culture without an alternative cause of the fever. RESULTS: There were 232 UAs from 112 patients that met criteria. The majority (75%) of patients were men; the mean age was 40 (±16) years. Of the 232 UAs, 90 (38.7%) were positive. There were 14 UTIs. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of the UA for UTI were 100%, 65.1%, 15.5%, and 100%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: A negative UA reliably excludes a catheter-associated UTI in the febrile, trauma ICU patient with a 100% negative predictive value, and it can rapidly direct the clinician toward more likely sources of fever and reduce unnecessary urine cultures.
    Journal of the American College of Surgeons 04/2013; · 4.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In contrast to the established principles of "damage-control orthopedics" for temporary external fixation of long bone or pelvic fractures, the "ideal" timing and modality of fixation of unstable spine fractures in severely injured patients remains controversial. A prospective cohort study was designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a standardized "spine damage-control" (SDC) protocol for the acute management of unstable thoracic and lumbar spine fractures in severely injured patients. A total of 112 consecutive patients with unstable thoracic or lumbar spine fractures and Injury Severity Score (ISS) of greater than 15 were prospectively enrolled in this study from October 1, 2008, to December 31, 2011. Acute posterior spinal fixation within 24 hours was performed in 42 patients (SDC group), and 70 patients underwent definitive operative spine fixation in a delayed fashion ("delayed surgery"[DS] group). Both cohorts were prospectively analyzed for baseline demographics, length of operative time, amount of intraoperative blood loss, total hospital length of stay, number of ventilator-dependent days, and incidence of early postoperative complications. The mean time to initial spine fixation was significantly decreased in the SDC group (8.9 [1.7] hours vs. 98.7 [22.4] hours, p < 0.01). The SDC cohort had a reduced mean length of operative time (2.4 [0.7] hours vs. 3.9 [1.3] hours), length of hospital stay (14.1 [2.9] days vs. 32.6 [7.8] days), and number of ventilator-dependent days (2.2 [1.5] days vs. 9.1 [2.4] days), compared with the DS group (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the complication rate was decreased in the SDC group with regard to wound complications (2.4% vs. 7.1%), urinary tract infections (4.8% vs. 21.4%), pulmonary complications (14.3% vs. 25.7%), and pressure sores (2.4% vs. 8.6%), compared with the DS cohort (p < 0.05). A standardized SDC protocol represents a safe and efficient treatment strategy for severely injured patients with associated unstable thoracic or lumbar fractures. Therapeutic study, level III.
    The journal of trauma and acute care surgery. 02/2013; 74(2):590-6.
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Publication Stats

147 Citations
86.09 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011–2014
    • University of Colorado Hospital
      • Department of Surgery
      Denver, Colorado, United States
  • 2013
    • University of Pittsburgh
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2011–2013
    • Mental Health Center of Denver
      Denver, Colorado, United States
    • University of Colorado
      • Department of Surgery
      Denver, CO, United States
  • 2010
    • Wayne State University
      • Department of Emergency Medicine
      Detroit, MI, United States