Monthly Archives: February 2012

Why you should always wear a helmet

Boston Medical Center patient Ken Cooper was riding his bicycle in a Boston bike lane when he was struck by an automobile traveling 20 miles per hour. Fortunately Ken was wearing a helmet, which likely saved his life.


Ken’s shattered helmet

Learn more about Boston Medical Center’s Trauma and Emergency services

For more patient stories, click here.

Tracey Dechert, MD, BMC Trauma Surgeon published in The American Surgeon

Boston Medical Center trauma surgeon and Assistant Professor of Surgery at Boston University School of Medicine, Tracey Dechert, MD, recently published, “Lactate in trauma: a poor predictor of mortality in the setting of alcohol ingestion”, in The American Surgeon



Resuscitation end point markers such as lactate and base deficit (BD) are used in trauma to identify and treat a state of compensated shock. Lactate and BD levels are also elevated by alcohol. In blunt trauma patients with positive blood alcohol levels, lactate may be a poor indicator of injury. Retrospective data were collected on 1083 blunt trauma patients with positive blood alcohol levels admitted a Level I trauma center between 2003 and 2006. Patients were stratified by Injury Severity Score, age, gender, and Glasgow Coma Score. Logistic regression analyses were used to assess lactate and BD as independent risk factors for mortality. Seventy-four per cent of patients had an abnormal lactate level compared with 28 per cent with abnormal BD levels. In patients with mild injury, lactate levels were abnormal in more than 70 per cent of patients compared with less than 20 per cent of patients with abnormal BD levels. Linear regression showed lactate is not a significant predictor of mortality. Regardless of Injury Severity Score, lactate appeared to be more often abnormal than BD in the setting of alcohol ingestion. Additionally, because BD, and not lactate, was shown to be an independent predictor of mortality, lactate may not be a reliable marker of end point resuscitation in this patient population.

Am Surg. 2011 Dec;77(12):1576-9.Lactate in trauma: a poor predictor of mortality in the setting of alcohol ingestion. Herbert HK, Dechert TA, Wolfe L, Aboutanos MB, Malhotra AK, Ivatury RR, Duane TM. Source Department of General Surgery, Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA, USA.


Related News:

Tracey Dechert – Trauma Surgeon: Video for Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST)

Tracey Dechert published chapter on managing pelvic fractures

Tracey Dechert, MD, recognized as future leader in Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST) 





Tracey Dechert, MD, BMC Trauma Surgeon



Tracey Dechert, MD
Trauma and Acute Care Surgeon, Boston Medical Center 
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine

Tracey Dechert, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery at Boston University School of Medicine, is a graduate of Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, PA and Temple University School of Medicine. Dr. Dechert completed her residency in General Surgery at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, VA and her fellowship in the Department of Traumatology and Surgical Critical Care at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. Her clinical interests include pelvic fractures and trauma in women. 

Why did you go into trauma/acute care surgery?
I find caring for the severely injured to be very rewarding.

What makes Boston Medical Center special?
We are dedicated to caring for everyone in their time of need.

Research/Clinical Interests

  • Pelvic fractures
  • Trauma in women

Board Certifications

  • General surgery
  • Surgical critical care

Contact Information
Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Ambulatory Care Center
725 Albany Street
Floor 3
Boston, MA 02118

For more information about Boston Medical Center’s Division of Trauma Surgery and Critical Care, please click here.



Check out the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST) YouTube page by clicking here.


Teaching Doctors How to Close Life’s Last Door