Reducing Blood Loss in the Trauma Patient

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Traumatic injury is the leading cause of death for patients between the ages of five and 44 and accounts for 10% of all deaths worldwide. Among this 10%, 30-40% of these deaths can be contributed to uncontrolled bleeding that has the potential to be corrected in the pre-trauma center environment (Spahn et al., 2010). Various methods have been studied throughout the past 10 years to improve the outcomes of patients who suffer from massive trauma. A problem currently facing the nursing transport community is the availability of diagnostic tools and products to give the patients who present with symptoms of massive hemorrhage.

Due to the nature of health care systems, many specialties such as trauma facilities and specialized surgeons are located in large urban areas. This creates an access problem for individuals who suffer injuries in suburban and rural areas resulting in higher morbidity rates for patients further from definitive care. Recently, studies have begun to focus on alternative methods to prevent exsanguination in patients who suffer traumatic injuries where surgical intervention is beyond a practical distance for a patient to experience a positive outcome. All of the studies stated that early intervention to reduce the rate of blood loss and rapid intervention are imperative to improving outcomes.

Blood products such as packed red blood cells, fresh frozen plasma, and platelets are already commonly used in trauma patients that require volume replacement and have coagulopathy. However, the availability of these products at rural facilities and even in some urban areas can be limited considering synthetic forms of blood products are not currently being used. This leaves the supply of blood at the discretion of ...

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Spahn, D. R., Cerny, V., Coats, T. J., Duranteau, J., Gordini, G., & Stahel, P. F. (2010, April 6). Managment of bleeding following major trauma: An updated European guideline. Critical Care, 14(2). http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/cc8943

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