Pelvic Fractures: Part 1. Evaluation, Classification, and Resuscitation

Joshua R. Langford, J Am Acad Orthop Surg. Vol 21 Nº 8 August 2013

Pelvic fractures range in severity from low-energy, generally benign lateral compression injuries to life-threatening, unstable fracture patterns. Initial management of severe pelvic fractures should follow Advanced Trauma Life Support protocols. Initial reduction of pelvic blood loss can be provided by binders, sheets, or some form of external fixation, which serve to reduce pelvic volume, stabilize clot formation, and reduce ongoing tissue damage. Persistently unstable patients may benefit from angiography with selective embolization, pelvic packing, or a combination of these interventions. Open pelvic fractures involving the perineum or bowel injury benefit from fecal diversion by colostomy. Trauma team coordination facilitates efficient resuscitative efforts and may affect definitive management by optimizing incision, ostomy, or catheter placement. Established protocols for both open and closed pelvic fractures help to standardize care.

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