Multiple organ failure: By the time you predict it, it's already there

H. G. Cryer, K. Leong, D. L. McArthur, D. Demetriades, F. S. Bongard, A. W. Fleming, J. R. Hiatt, J. F. Kraus, F. A. Moore, R. J. Mullins, R. R. Ivatury, H. G. Cryer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Objective: Validate an at-risk population to study multiple organ failure and to determine the importance of organ dysfunction 24 hours after injury in determining the ultimate severity of multiple organ failure. Methods: We evaluated 105 patients admitted to five academic trauma centers during a 1-year period who survived for more than 24 hours with Injury Severity Scores ≥ 25 and who received 6 or more units of blood. Organ dysfunction was scored daily with a modified multiple organ failure scoring system made up of individual adult respiratory distress syndrome score, renal dysfunction, hepatic dysfunction, and cardiac dysfunction scores. Multiple organ failure (MOF) severity was quantitated using the maximum daily multiple organ failure score and the cumulative sum of daily multiple organ failure scores for the first 7 days (MOF 7) and 10 days (MOF 10). Independent variables included markers of tissue injury, shock, host factors, physiologic response, therapeutic factors, and organ dysfunction within the first 24 hours after admission. Data were subjected to a conditional stepwise multiple regression analysis, first excluding and then including 24-hour MOF as an independent variable. Results: Of the 105 high-risk patients, 69 (66%) developed a maximum daily multiple organ failure score ≥ 1; 50 (72%) did so on day 1 one and 60 (87%) did so by day 2. In multiple regression models, the multiple correlation coefficient increased from 0.537 to 0.720 when maximum MOF was the dependent variable, from 0.449 to 0.719 when maximum daily MOF was the dependent variable, from 0.519 to 0.812 when MOF 7 was the dependent variable, and from 0.514 to 0.759 when MOF 10 was the dependent variable. Conclusion: We have confirmed that the population of patients with Injury Severity Scores ≥ 25 who received 6 or more units of blood represent a high- risk group for the development of multiple organ failure. Our data also indicate that multiple organ failure after trauma is established within 24 hours of injury in the majority of patients who develop it. It appears that multiple organ failure is already present at the time when most published models are trying to predict whether or not it will occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-606
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult respiratory distress syndrome
  • Blood transfusion
  • Injury
  • Multiple organ failure
  • Multiple regression
  • Scores
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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