The Golden Hour: Scientific Fact or Medical “Urban Legend”?

Authors

  • E. Brooke Lerner MS, EMT-P,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Emergency Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo, and the Center for Transportation Injury Research (CenTIR), Buffalo, NY.
      ***MS, EMT-P, Department of Emergency Medicine, 462 Grider Street, Buffalo, NY 14215; fax: 716-898-5988; e-mail: lerner@buffalo.edu
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Ronald M. Moscati MD

    1. Department of Emergency Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo, and the Center for Transportation Injury Research (CenTIR), Buffalo, NY.
    Search for more papers by this author

***MS, EMT-P, Department of Emergency Medicine, 462 Grider Street, Buffalo, NY 14215; fax: 716-898-5988; e-mail: lerner@buffalo.edu

Abstract

The term “golden hour” is commonly used to characterize the urgent need for the care of trauma patients. This term implies that morbidity and mortality are affected if care is not instituted within the first hour after injury. This concept justifies much of our current trauma system. However, definitive references are generally not provided when this concept is discussed. It remains unclear whether objective data exist. This article discusses a detailed literature and historical record search for support of the “golden hour” concept. None is identified.

Ancillary