Preperitonal Pelvic Packing for Hemodynamically Unstable Pelvic Fractures: A Paradigm Shift

University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado, United States
The Journal of trauma (Impact Factor: 2.96). 04/2007; 62(4):834-9; discussion 839-42. DOI: 10.1097/TA.0b013e31803c7632
Source: PubMed


The current management of pelvic fracture patients who are hemodynamically unstable in the United States consists of aggressive resuscitation, mechanical stabilization, and angioembolization. Despite this multidisciplinary approach, our recent analysis confirms an alarming 40% mortality in these high-risk patients. Therefore, we pursued alternate therapies to improve patient outcomes. European trauma groups have suggested the technique of pelvic packing via laparotomy to directly address the venous bleeding that comprises 85% of pelvic fracture hemorrhage. We hypothesized that a modified technique of direct preperitoneal pelvic packing (PPP) would reduce the need for angiography, decrease blood transfusion requirements, and lower mortality.
Since September 2004, all patients at our ACS-verified level I trauma center with hemodynamic instability and pelvic fractures underwent PPP/external fixation, according to our protocol. Statistics are reported as mean +/- SEM and analyzed using Student's t test.
During the study period, 28 consecutive patients underwent PPP. There was one protocol deviation of prePPP angiography to evaluate an extremity vascular injury. The majority were men (68%) with a mean age of 40 +/- 3.9 years and a mean injury severity score of 55 +/- 3.0. The mean emergency department (ED) systolic blood pressure was 77 +/- 3.0 mm Hg, heart rate was 120 +/- 4.3 bpm, and base deficit 13 +/- 0.8 mmol/L. Pelvic fracture classifications included lateral compression (LC) II (9), anteroposterior compression (APC) III (8), LC I (3), vertical shear (3), LC III (3), and APC II (2). Patients required 4 +/- 1.2 units of packed red blood cells (PRBCs) during 82 +/- 13 minutes in the ED. Blood transfusion requirements before postoperative surgical intensive care unit (SICU) admission compared with the subsequent 24 postoperative hours were significantly different (12 +/- 2.0 versus 6 +/- 1.1; p = 0.006). The first 4 patients underwent routine angiography postPPP, with 1 undergoing therapeutic embolization; 4 of the subsequent 24 patients underwent angioembolization with clinical concern of ongoing pelvic hemorrhage. Seven (25%) patients died from multiple organ failure (2), postinjury myocardial infarction/pulseless electrical activity (PEA) arrest (2), invasive mucormycosis (1), withdrawal of care (1), and closed head injury (1); there were no deaths as a result of acute blood loss.
PPP is a rapid method for controlling pelvic fracture-related hemorrhage that can supplant the need for emergent angiography. There is a significant reduction in blood product transfusion after PPP, and this approach appears to reduce mortality in this select high-risk group of patients.

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    • "It has been suggested that this technique may even supplant the need for angiography [28] [29] [30], although this is not universally acknowledged [31]. Even the most ardent proponents of preperitoneal packing acknowledge that 17% of packed patients will still need angiography [28]. Since the wrong decision is associated with increased mortality, and many patients need both interventions, the more obvious solution, in our opinion, is to simply equip the trauma OR of the future with ALL the modalities necessary to arrest exsanguinating haemorrhage. "
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    ABSTRACT: Traumatic injury is the leading cause of potentially preventable lost years of life in the Western world and exsanguination is the most potentially preventable cause of post-traumatic death. With mature trauma systems and experienced trauma centres, extra-abdominal sites, such as the pelvis, constitute the most frequent anatomic site of exsanguination. Haemorrhage control for such bleeding often requires surgical adjuncts most notably interventional radiology (IR). With the usual paradigm of surgery conducted within an operating room and IR procedures within distant angiography suites, responsible clinicians are faced with making difficult decisions regarding where to transport the most physiologically unstable patients for haemorrhage control. If such a critical patient is transported to the wrong suite, they may die unnecessarily despite having potentially salvageable injuries. Thus, it seems only logical that the resuscitative operating room of the future would have IR capabilities making it the obvious geographic destination for critically unstable patients, especially those who are exsanguinating.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Injury
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    • "Because of the high correlation between the mortality rate and initial hemodynamic status, we based our treatment protocol on the hemodynamic status.11,15) It is often quoted that the amount of blood and serum transfusion has a direct correlation with the amount of organ injuries and the mean blood transfusion requirement is around 5 to 8 units in these pelvic fractures.16) "
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    ABSTRACT: The main causes of death in patients with open pelviperineal injuries are uncontrollable bleeding and pelvic sepsis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the management outcomes of open pelvic fractures associated with extensive perineal injuries. We retrospectively studied 15 cases with open pelvic fractures associated with extensive perineal injuries (urethral and anal canal laceration) admitted between August 2006 and September 2010. Mechanism of injury, Injury Severity Score, associated injuries, hemodynamic status on arrival, resuscitation and transfusion requirements, operative techniques, intra- and postoperative complications, length of intensive care unit and hospital stay, and mortality were recorded in a computerised database for further evaluation and analysis. The male to female ratio was 12:3 with an average age of 38.6 years (ranged, 11 to 65 years). The average packed red blood cell units used were 8 units (ranged, 4 to 21 units). All patients were initially transferred to the operating room for colostomy, radical debridement and fixation of the pelvic fracture by an external fixator. One patient had acute renal failure, which improved with medical treatment and 2 patients (13.3%) died, one with type III anteroposterior compression fracture due to hemorrhagic shock and the other due to septicemia. Open pelvic fractures with extensive perineal injuries are associated with high mortality rates. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, including reanimation, colostomy, cystostomy, vigorous and repeated irrigation and debridement, and fixation by an external fixator can improve the outcomes and reduce the mortality rate.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Clinics in orthopedic surgery
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    • "External pelvic fixation with the use of C-clamps and belts can be used to control venous haemorrhage [7] [8]. Surgical pelvic packing has also been proposed to control haemodynamically unstable pelvic fractures [9] [10]. We have reported the use of intra-aortic balloon occlusion (IABO) in patients with life-threatening haemorrhagic shock after pelvic fracture [11]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The early diagnosis of pelvic arterial haemorrhage is challenging for initiating treatment by transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE) in multiple trauma patients. We use an institutional algorithm focusing on haemodynamic status on admission and on a whole-body CT scan in stabilized patients to screen patients requiring TAE. This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of this approach. This retrospective cohort study included 106 multiple trauma patients admitted to the emergency room with serious pelvic fracture [pelvic abbreviated injury scale (AIS) score of 3 or more]. Of the 106 patients, 27 (25%) underwent pelvic angiography leading to TAE for active arterial haemorrhage in 24. The TAE procedure was successful within 3h of arrival in 18 patients. In accordance with the algorithm, 10 patients were directly admitted to the angiography unit (n=8) and/or operating room (n=2) for uncontrolled haemorrhagic shock on admission. Of the remaining 96 stabilized patients, 20 had contrast media extravasation on pelvic CT scan that prompted pelvic angiography in 16 patients leading to TAE in 14. One patient underwent a pelvic angiography despite showing no contrast media extravasation on pelvic CT scan. All 17 stabilized patients who underwent pelvic angiography presented a more severely compromised haemodynamic status on admission, and they required more blood products during their initial management than the 79 patients who did not undergo pelvic angiography. The incidence of unstable pelvic fractures was however comparable between the two groups. Overall, haemodynamic instability and contrast media extravasation on the CT-scan identified 26 out of the 27 patients who required subsequent pelvic angiography leading to TAE in 24. An algorithm focusing on haemodynamic status on arrival and on the whole-body CT scan in stabilized patients may be effective at triaging multiple trauma patients with serious pelvic fractures.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · Injury
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