RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Extraperitoneal pelvic packing: a salvage procedure to control massive traumatic pelvic hemorrhage.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the method of extraperitoneal pelvic packing (EPP), and to assess the impact of EPP on outcome in severely hemodynamically unstable patients after blunt pelvic trauma.

METHODS: Of 661 patients treated for pelvic trauma, 18 underwent EPP as part of our protocol with the intent to control massive pelvic bleeding and constituted the study population. Data retrospectively collected from the medical records and from the Ullevål Trauma Registry included demographics, fracture classification, additional injuries, blood transfusions, surgical interventions, angiographic procedure, physiologic parameters, and survival.

RESULTS: Survival rate within 30 days was 72% (13/18), and correlated inversely to the age of the patient (p = 0.038). Only one of the nonsurvivors died of exsanguination. A significant increase in systolic blood pressure (BP) (p = 0.002) was observed immediately after EPP. Angiography performed after EPP was positive for arterial injury in 80% of patients. All types of pelvic ring fractures were represented.

CONCLUSIONS: EPP as part of a multi-interventional resuscitation protocol might be life saving in patients with life-threatening pelvic injury who are exsanguinating. However, the high rate of arterial injuries seen after EPP indicates that the procedure should be supplemented with angiography once the patient is sufficiently stabilized to tolerate transportation to the angiography suite.

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