Management of hemorrhage in trauma

Herbert Schöchl, Alberto Grassetto, Christoph J Schlimp
Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia 2013, 27 (4 Suppl): S35-43
Hemorrhage remains one of the leading causes of trauma-related deaths. Uncontrolled diffuse microvascular bleeding in the course of initial care is common, potentially resulting in exsanguination. Early and aggressive hemostatic intervention increases survival and reduces the incidence of massive transfusion. Thus, timely diagnosis of the underlying coagulation disorders is mandatory. It has been shown that standard coagulation tests do not sufficiently characterize trauma-induced coagulopathy (TIC). This has led to increasing interest in alternatives, such as the viscoelastic test, to diagnose TIC and to provide the basis for a goal-directed hemostatic therapy. The concept of damage control resuscitation (DCR) has been introduced widely in trauma patients with severe bleeding. This strategy addresses important confounders of the coagulation process such as hemodilution, hypothermia, and acidosis; DCR is based on a damage control surgical approach, permissive hypotension, and improvement of hemostatic competence. Many studies have shown benefit in mortality when using high ratios of fresh frozen plasma (FFP) to red blood cells (RBC) as early treatment. However, there is increased awareness that coagulation factor concentrate could be beneficial in the treatment of trauma-induced coagulopathy.

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