Viscoelastic Studies: Effective Tools for Trauma and Surgical Resuscitation Efforts

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Abstract

Trauma-induced coagulopathy (TIC) is an abrupt disruption of all hemostatic components of coagulation resulting from severe tissue injury and hypoperfusion. The effective management of TIC has remained elusive to clinicians using traditional laboratory methods, challenging efforts to improve outcomes related to uncontrolled bleeding. Recent initiatives have aimed to reduce TIC-associated morbidity and mortality, further invoking trauma experts to explore innovative modalities in the field of viscoelastic studies, such as thromboelastography (TEG) and rotational thromboelastometry (ROTEM). These tests are able to guide proper blood product administration more effectively during trauma and surgical resuscitation compared with conventional laboratory tests. Although TEG and ROTEM are similar tests, inherent differences in their features produce variation in output results. This article calls on the perioperative clinician to evaluate TEG and ROTEM tests and consider their implementation based on the benefits of their application to clinical practice.

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