Despite the tremendous advances and successes in the care of combat casualties over the past 15 years of war, noncompressible torso hemorrhage (NCTH) remains the most likely source of potentially preventable death (approx. 25%) on the battlefield. This is also likely true for civilian victims of blunt and penetrating trauma. Various devices and therapeutic interventions have been, and are being, developed in an attempt to reduce morbidity and mortality for patients with NCTH. Examples include the use of prehospital blood and blood products, tranexamic acid, specially designed tourniquets for junctional hemorrhage control, retrograde endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta, intracavity foam, expandable hemostatic sponges, and intravascular nanoparticles to suspended animation. Although each of these modalities offer the potential to staunch uncontrolled hemorrhage until an injured patient is able to reach definitive surgical care, further research and advances must be made to further reduce trauma morbidity and mortality and to identify those technologies and modalities that are best suited to rapid movement to the front lines of combat casualty care as well as to emergency medical personnel dealing with civilian trauma victims. The surgical adjuncts for NCTH discussed may all be considered as potential tools for patient blood management programs. If effective they offer the possibility of reduce hemorrhage and blood product exposure and improved patient outcomes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy