Serum lactate serves as a surrogate marker for global tissue hypoxia following traumatic injury and has potential to guide resuscitation. Portable, handheld point-of-care monitoring devices enable lactate values to be readily available in the pre-hospital environment. The current review examines the utility of pre-hospital lactate (pLa) measurement in the management of trauma.
Pre-hospital point-of-care lactate monitoring for trauma has been variably performed. There is a scarcity of evidence relating to its use. The limited data available show feasibility and potential clinical utility, and further investigation is warranted to establish whether lactate might give meaningful guidance during pre-hospital triage and trauma patient resuscitation.