Lactate measurement in pre-hospital care: a review of the literature


Background:Lactate has been identified as a useful marker of shock. Lactate can be measured in the pre-hospital environment rapidly and accurately.Method:A comprehensive literature search was conducted using a targeted search strategy. Additional literature was located through reference list searching and prior awareness by the authors. This identified a number of papers which were appraised for relevance. This appraisal identified 29 papers which were included in the review.Conclusion:Lactate has been shown to be measurable in the pre-hospital environment and to be prognostic of mortality. Lactate measurement needs to be linked to specific treatment algorithms with improved outcomes for patients in order to justify inclusion in pre-hospital practice.

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