Current Surgery Reports

, 6:1 | Cite as

Rescue in Acute Care Surgery: Evolving Definitions and Metrics

  • Alexandra BriggsEmail author
  • Andrew B. Peitzman
  • Jason L. Sperry
Trauma Surgery (J. Diaz, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Trauma Surgery


Purpose of Review

Rescue is salvage of a patient after the development of a complication. This review describes the origins of this concept and provides an update on the factors influencing the ability to rescue acute care surgery (ACS) patients.

Recent Findings

The current literature on rescue in ACS reveals the complex interplay of patient and hospital characteristics that shape the development of complications and mortality during admission. Our unique patient population requires careful monitoring and timely intervention to achieve optimal outcomes. The definition of rescue in ACS patients is evolving based upon our understanding of preventability of adverse events and death, as well as the often emergent nature of our practice.


Surgical rescue is an essential component of the practice of Acute Care Surgery, encompassing the care of the injured patient, interventions for acute surgical pathology, and management of operative and procedural complications. The ability to rescue requires not only the skill of individual practitioners, but also the resources and commitment of entire institutions.


Surgical rescue Failure to rescue Acute care surgery Emergency general surgery 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest relevant to this manuscript.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: ∙ Of importance ∙∙ Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandra Briggs
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andrew B. Peitzman
    • 1
  • Jason L. Sperry
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, Department of SurgeryUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical CenterPittsburghUSA

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