Acute Traumatic Coagulopathy

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Traumatic coagulopathy is thought to be caused primarily by fluid administration and hypothermia.


A retrospective study was performed to determine whether coagulopathy resulting from the injury itself is a clinically important entity in severely injured patients.


One thousand eight hundred sixty-seven consecutive trauma patients were reviewed, of whom 1,088 had full data sets. Median Injury Severity Score was 20, and 57.7% had an Injury Severity Score > 15; 24.4% of patients had a significant coagulopathy. Patients with an acute coagulopathy had significantly higher mortality (46.0% vs. 10.9%;θ2,p< 0.001). The incidence of coagulopathy increased with severity of injury, but was not related to the volume of intravenous fluid administered (r2 = 0.25,p< 0.001).


There is a common and clinically important acute traumatic coagulopathy that is not related to fluid administration. This is a marker of injury severity and is related to mortality. A coagulation screen is an important early test in severely injured patients.

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