Vasopressors and inotropes in trauma: when, where, how long

  • G. Berlot
  • G. Trillò
  • A. Gullo
Part of the Topics in Anaesthesia and Critical Care book series (TIACC)


In severely injured patients, cardiovascular function and oxygen delivery (DO2) to the tissues can be compromised by a host of factors, including hemorrhage, multi-factorial decrease of cardiac output (CO), increased total peripheral vascular resistances (PVR), tension pneumothorax, and cardiac trauma. Thus, hypovolemia, albeit impotant, is not the only cause of reduced tissue blood flow, consequently, maintenance of blood volume may be considered part of a more complex therapeutic approach aimed at restoring tissue oxygenation, which may include the use of inotropes and/or vasoactive drugs. Many investigations have been focused on the importance of a correct triage of trauma patients, prompt identification of sources of bleeding, choice of resuscitation fluids and the role of early reparative surgery in order to maximally reduce or totally avoid the low-flow time. However, less attention has been devoted to the role of vasoactive drugs in re-establishing normoxia in trauma victims. This is in sharp contrast to other fields of critical care medicine (i.e., sepsis, cardiac failure), in which inotropes and vasoactive drugs are considered first-line agents.


Mean Arterial Pressure Trauma Patient Vasoactive Drug Arterial Hypotension Pulmonary Artery Occlusive Pressure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Italia 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Berlot
  • G. Trillò
  • A. Gullo

There are no affiliations available

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