Definitive Control of Bleeding from Severe Pelvic Fractures

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Abstract

Forty patients with severe pelvic fracture and extrapcritoncal hemorrhage were reviewed. Eighteen patients seen prior to 1975 (group I) were clinically similar to 22 patients seen subsequently (group II). Major pelvic fracture hemorrhage was defined as bleeding in excess of 2,000 ml over and above initial resuscitation volumes. Ten of 22 group II patients met the criteria for continued extraperitoncal bleeding and were immobilized in an inflatable G-suit after surgically remediable lesions had been excluded. Ventilator support and hemody-namic monitoring were instituted and clinical response recorded. Prompt cessation of bleeding was observed in nine of ten patients. One patient required selective cathetcrization of a bleeding artery with subsequent embolic occlusion. Significant reductions in overall mortality and the frequency of shock related death were observed in group II patients. Sepsis was the leading cause of late death in survivors. Immobilization of pelvic fracture patients in the G-suit is recommended as a means of controlling continuing rctroperitoneal hemorrhage when surgically correctable bleeding points have been dealt with. Failure of patients to respond promptly to the G-suit strongly suggests arterial bleeding amenable to selective catheterization and embolic occlusion.

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