Haemodynamically unstable pelvic trauma: initial validation of a dedicated protocol by a retrospective cohort study with historical controls

Stefano Magnone, Marco Ceresoli, Federico Coccolini, Gabriela Elisa Nita, Luigi Rizzi, Cecilia Merli, Renata Colombi, Dario Piazzalunga, Tino Martino Valetti, Claudio Castelli, Luca Ansaloni


Background: We present our experience after the introduction of Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS)©, Trauma Team (TT) and Preperitoneal Pelvic Packing (PPP) protocols for the treatment of hemodynamically unstable pelvic blunt trauma.

Methods: This is a retrospective study with historical controls: before (Control Group, CG) and after (Study Group SG) the introduction of the protocol. A single physician managed the CG and angiography was the emergency manoeuvre. A team with ATLS guidelines and PPP as an emergency manoeuvre managed the SG. Data were collected retrospectively. Patients were divided into two groups: before and after the introduction of protocols.

Results: From January 2007 to October 2014, 36 patients were treated at our Centre. We consider patients from January 2007 to August 2011 (19 patients, CG) and from September 2011 to October 2014 (17 patients, SG). Median age was 54 years (43–69) in the CG vs. 47 (40–63) in the SG (p = 0.43), median initial SBP 90 mmHg (85–103) in the CG 94 (69–103) in the SG, (p = 0.60), heart rate was 90 (80–110) in the G and 110 (95–130) in the SG, (p = 0.09). Median Injury Severity Score was 33 (21–41) in the CG and 34 (26–41) in the SG (p = 0.29). Time from arrival in the Emergency Department to first therapeutic manoeuvre was 132 minutes (109–180) in the CG and 87 minutes (51–204) in the SG (p = 0.4). The difference in mortality was statistically significant: 64.7% (11/17) in the CG and 23.5% (4/17) in the SG (p = 0.02).

Conclusions: The introduction of protocols changed our approach in hemodynamically unstable pelvic trauma, achieving a remarkable improvement in early mortality.


preperitoneal pelvic packing; pelvic trauma; Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS)©; angiography; Trauma Team

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South African Journal of Surgery | Online ISSN: 2078-5151 | Print ISSN: 0038-2361 | Medpharm Publications

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