Shock is defined as inadequate perfusion of tissues with oxygen and nutrients to support cellular function. Resuscitation from shock can therefore only be complete when all evidence of oxygen debt, anaerobic metabolism, and tissue acidosis has been eliminated. All of the diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers performed by trauma nurses today, whether basic or advanced, whether performed in the field, emergency department, operating room, or intensive care unit, can be traced directly or indirectly to this goal. Resuscitation in trauma is now viewed across the continuum of physiologic insult and response that occurs after hemorrhage or tissue injury. Resuscitation endpoints (i.e., variables or parameters) must be viewed across the continuum of shock because the effectiveness of endpoints varies with the phase of resuscitation. The optimal resuscitation endpoint in trauma is controversial, remains elusive, and is one of the most published topics in modern medical literature. This article presents the current understanding of the resuscitation endpoints in trauma.

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