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Blood Rev. 2009 Jul;23(4):149-55. doi: 10.1016/j.blre.2008.12.001. Epub 2009 Jan 12.

Blood and coagulation support in trauma.

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Division of Trauma and Critical Care Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Injury is the leading cause of death in young people and a major cause of loss of years of productive life world wide. Acute surgical care can prevent injury from turning into disability or death but requires prompt access to safe blood products to support resuscitation and restorative surgical procedures. Speed in delivering blood products is critical in resuscitation. Achieving prompt blood product support requires advanced planning and an informed balancing of risks to insure the availability of red cells and coagulation products at the time and place where they are needed. Safety and diagnostic support are critical in the post-resuscitative period where transfusion complications can delay reconstructive surgery and prolong intensive care unit stays. This paper reviews the epidemiology of injury and modern patterns of trauma care against the background of developing knowledge about the coagulopathies of trauma and blood safety.

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