Impact of Hemorrhage on Trauma Outcome: An Overview of Epidemiology, Clinical Presentations, and Therapeutic Considerations

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Abstract

The world-wide impact of traumatic injury and associated hemorrhage on human health and well-being cannot be overstated. Twelve percent of the global disease burden is the result of violence or accidental injury. Hemorrhage is responsible for 30 to 40% of trauma mortality, and of these deaths, 33 to 56% occur during the prehospital period. Among those who reach care, early mortality is caused by continued hemorrhage, coagulopathy, and incomplete resuscitation. The techniques of early care, including blood transfusion, may underlie late mortality and long-term morbidity. While the volume of blood lost cannot be measured, physiologic and chemical measures and the number of units of blood given are readily recorded and analyzed. Improvements in early hemorrhage control and resuscitation and the prevention and aggressive treatment of coagulopathy appear to have the greatest potential to improve outcomes in severely injured trauma patients.

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