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Injury. 2009 Apr;40(4):343-53. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2008.12.006. Epub 2009 Mar 17.

Pelvic packing or angiography: competitive or complementary?

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Denver Health Medical Center, University of Colorado at Denver School of Medicine, 777 Bannock Street, Denver, CO 80204, USA.


Pelvic angiography is an established technique that has evolved into a highly effective means of controlling arterial pelvic haemorrhage. The current dominant paradigm for haemodynamically unstable patients with pelvic fractures is angiographic management combined with mechanical stabilisation of the pelvis. However, an effective rapid screening tool for arterial bleeding in pelvic fracture patients has yet to be identified. There is also no precise way to determine the major source of bleeding responsible for haemodynamic instability. In many pelvic fracture patients, bleeding is from venous lacerations which are not effectively treated with angiography to fractured bony surfaces. Modern pelvic packing consists of time-saving and minimally invasive techniques which appear to result in effective control of the haemorrhage via tamponade. This review article focuses on the recent body of knowledge on angiography and pelvic packing. We propose the optimal role for each modality in trauma centres.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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