Management of Coagulopathy in the Patients With Multiple Injuries: Results From an International Survey of Clinical Practice

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Background:Bleeding is one of the leading causes of preventable death after traumatic injury. Trauma-associated coagulopathy complicates the control of bleeding. The published approaches on the management of this coagulopathy differ significantly.Methods:A qualitative international survey of clinical practice among senior physicians responsible for the treatment of patients with multiple injuries (Injury Severity Score ≥16) was conducted to document common practices, highlight the variabilities, and profile the rationale behind existing clinical practices around the world.Results:Survey results are based on 80 (32%) completed returns, representing 25 countries with 93% of respondents employed by trauma centers and a mean of 20 years clinical experience. There are regional differences in the clinical specialty of physicians responsible for trauma management decisions. Blood loss, temperature, pH, platelets, prothrombin time/INR/activated partial thromboplastin time, and overall clinical assessment, were the most common criteria used to assess coagulopathy. Forty-five percent of respondents claimed to follow a massive transfusion protocol in their institution, 19% reported inconsistent protocol use and 34% do not use a protocol. The management of hypothermia, acidosis, blood products, and adjuvant therapy showed regional as well as institutional variability, and surprisingly few massive transfusion protocols specifically address these issues.Conclusions:The results of this survey may serve to draw attention to the need for a common definition of coagulopathy and standardized clinical protocols to ensure optimal patient care.

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