Damage Control Resuscitation

James N Bogert, John A Harvin, Bryan A Cotton
Journal of Intensive Care Medicine 2016, 31 (3): 177-86
Resuscitation of the hemorrhaging patient has undergone significant changes in the last decade resulting in the concept of damage control resuscitation (DCR). Hemostatic resuscitation aims to address the physiologic derangements found in the hemorrhaging patient, namely coagulopathy, acidosis, and hypothermia. Strategies to achieve this are permissive hypotension, high ratio of plasma and platelet transfusion to packed red blood cell transfusion, and limitation of crystalloid administration. Damage control surgery aims for early hemorrhage control and minimizing operative time by delaying definitive repair until the patient's physiologic status has normalized. Together these strategies constitute DCR and have led to improved outcomes for hemorrhaging patients over the last 2 decades. Recently, DCR has been augmented by both pharmacologic and laboratory adjuncts to improve the care of the hemorrhaging patient. These include thrombelastography as a detailed measure of the clotting cascade, tranexamic acid as an antifibrinolytic, and the procoagulant activated factor VII. In this review, we discuss the strategies that makeup DCR, their adjuncts, and how they fit into the care of the hemorrhaging patient.

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