Mortality after Successful Transcatheter Arterial Embolization in Patients with Unstable Pelvic Fractures: Rate of Blood Transfusion as a Predictive Factor

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Abstract

Background

To determine the factors predictive of mortality in patients with unstable pelvic fractures after successful transcatheter arterial embolization.

Methods

A retrospective study of pelvic fractures between May of 1995 and April of 1998 was performed. Of 507 patients, 17 who were unstable underwent embolization. The success rate of embolization and the mortality rate after successful embolization were reviewed. Predictive factors (contrast medium extravasation, initial blood pressure, Injury Severity Score, timing of external fixation, time to angiography, volume of blood transfusion, rate of blood transfusion) of the final outcome were statistically analyzed.

Results

Embolization was 100% effective in stopping pelvic hemorrhage. The mortality of patients treated successfully with embolization was 17.6%. Among the predictive factors analyzed, only the rate of blood transfusion before embolization, 11.3 ± 11.0 units/h (death) versus 3.2 ± 1.9 units/h (survival) showed statistical significance with an odds ratio of 1.62 (95% confidence interval, 1.07–2.46).

Conclusion

The success rate of embolization was 100% in stopping arterial hemorrhage of unstable pelvic fractures. The survival rate after successful embolization was 82.4%. Patients who had rapid blood transfusion before embolization had a poor final outcome. The risk of dying increased by 62% for every 1 unit/h increase of transfusion rate.

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