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Am Surg. 2011 Feb;77(2):201-6.

Damage control resuscitation: from emergency department to the operating room.

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Section of Trauma and Critical Care Surgery, Department of Surgery and Anesthesia, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112-2699, USA.


Damage control surgery emphasizes limited operations with control of bleeding and contamination. Traditional management centered upon correction of acidosis and hypotension with crystalloids. Damage control resuscitation (DCR) is permissive hypotension and early hemostatic resuscitation combined identified and corrects coagulopathy with fresh-frozen plasma (FFP), restricting use of crystalloids. We hypothesize a survival advantage in patients managed with DCR when compared with a historical cohort of patients. During the 2-year retrospective review, a 1-year period after institution of DCR was compared with a historical control. Resuscitation strategies were analyzed and stratified into emergency department (ED) resuscitation and intraoperative resuscitation. Univariate analysis of continuous data was done with Student's t test followed by multiple logistic regression. Fifty-seven and 61 patients were managed during the NonDCR and DCR periods respectively. Baseline demographic patient characteristics and physiologic variables were similar between groups. ED DCR patients received less crystalloids: 1.1 versus 4.7 liters (P = 0.0001), more FFP: 1.8 versus 0.5 (P = 0.001). NonDCR had a lower initial systolic pressure in the operating room when compared with DCR: 81 mm Hg versus 95 mm Hg (P = 0.03). DCR patients received less intraoperative crystalloids: 5.7 versus 15.8 liters (P = 0.0001) and more FFP: 15.1 versus 6.2 (P = 0.0001). DCR conveyed a survival benefit (Odds Ratio; 95% confidence interval: 0.40 (0.18-0.90), P = 0.024). NonDCR group had 13.2 days longer hospital length of stay. Damage control resuscitation, beginning in the ED, used more packed red blood cells and FFP minimizing crystalloids. DCR was associated with a survival advantage and shorter length of stay in patients with severe hemorrhage.

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