The concept of damage control: extending the paradigm in the prehospital setting

J-P Tourtier, B Palmier, K Tazarourte, M Raux, E Meaudre, S Ausset, A Sailliol, B Vivien, L Domanski, P Carli
Annales Françaises D'anesthèsie et de Rèanimation 2013, 32 (7-8): 520-6

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this review is to present the progressive extension of the concept of damage control resuscitation, focusing on the prehospital phase.

ARTICLE TYPE: Review of the literature in Medline database over the past 10 years.

DATA SOURCE: Medline database looking for articles published in English or in French between April 2002 and March 2013. Keywords used were: damage control resuscitation, trauma damage control, prehospital trauma, damage control surgery. Original articles were firstly selected. Editorials and reviews were secondly studied.

DATA SYNTHESIS: The importance of early management of life-threatening injuries and rapid transport to trauma centers has been widely promulgated. Technical progress appears for external methods of hemostasis, with the development of handy tourniquets and hemostatic dressings, making the crucial control of external bleeding more simple, rapid and effective. Hypothermia is independently associated with increased risk of mortality, and appeared accessible to improvement of prehospital care. The impact of excessive fluid resuscitation appears negative. The interest of hypertonic saline is denied. The place of vasopressor such as norepinephrine in the early resuscitation is still under debate. The early use of tranexamic acid is promoted. Specific transfusion strategies are developed in the prehospital setting.

CONCLUSION: It is critical that both civilian and military practitioners involved in trauma continue to share experiences and constructive feedback. And it is mandatory now to perform well-designed prospective clinical trials in order to advance the topic.

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