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Patient Saf Surg. 2019 Jun 24;13:25. doi: 10.1186/s13037-019-0204-6. eCollection 2019.

Technical limitations of REBOA in a patient with exsanguinating pelvic crush trauma: a case report.

Author information

1
1Department of Orthopedic, Trauma, and Plastic Surgery, University Hospital of Leipzig, Liebigstraße 20, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.
2
2Department of Visceral, Transplantation, Thorax and Vascular Surgery, University Hospital of Leipzig, Liebigstraße 20, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.
3
3Institute of Legal Medicine, Medical Faculty University of Leipzig, Johannisallee 28, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.

Abstract

Background:

Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA) is an effective adjunct in hemodynamic unstable patients with uncontrolled and non-compressible torso hemorrhage promoting temporary stability during injury repair. The aim of our study was to analyze real life usability of REBOA based on a case report and to review the literature with respect to its possibilities and limitations.

Case presentation:

We present the case of a 17-years old female patient who sustained a severe roll-over trauma and pelvic crush injury as a bicyclist by a truck. Upon arrival of the first responders, the patient was awake, alert, and following commands.Subsequent to lifting the truck, the patient became hypotensive and required cardiopulmonary resuscitation, application of a pelvic binder, and endotracheal intubation at the accident scene. She was then admitted by ambulance to our trauma center under ongoing resuscitative measures. After primary survey, it was decided to perform a REBOA with surgical approach to the left femoral artery. Initial insertion of the catheter was successful but could not be advanced beyond the inguinal region. Hence, the patient was transferred to the operating room (OR) but died despite maximum therapy. In the OR and later autopsy, we found a long-distance ruptured and dehiscent external iliac artery with massive bleeding into the pelvis in the context of a bilateral vertical shear fractured pelvic bone.

Conclusion:

REBOA can be a useful adjunct but there is a major limitation with potential vascular injury after pelvic trauma. In these situations, cross-clamping the proximal aorta or pre-peritoneal pelvic packing as "traditional" approaches of hemorrhage control during resuscitation may be the most considerable methods for temporary stabilization in severely injured trauma patients. More clinical and cadaveric studies are needed to further understand indications and limitations of REBOA after severe pelvic trauma.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interestsThe authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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