Haemodynamics as a determinant of need for pre-hospital application of a pelvic circumferential compression device in adult trauma patients

D. McCreary, C. Cheng, Z. C. Lin, Z. Nehme, M. Fitzgerald, B. Mitra

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Pelvic ring fractures are common following high-energy blunt trauma and can lead to substantial haemorrhage, morbidity and mortality. Pelvic circumferential compression devices (PCCDs) improve position and stability of open-book type pelvic fracture, and can improve haemodynamics in patients with hypovolaemic shock. However, PCCDs may cause adverse outcomes including worsening of lateral compression fracture patterns and routine use is associated with high costs. Controversy regarding indication of PCCDs exists with some centres recommending PCCD in the setting of hypovolaemic shock compared to placement for any suspected pelvic injury. Objective: To assess the need for PCCD application based on pre-hospital vital signs and mechanism of injury. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted in a single adult major trauma centre examining a 2-year period. Patients were sub-grouped based on initial pre-hospital and emergency department observations as haemodynamically normal (heart rate <100 bpm, systolic blood pressure ≥100 mmHg and Glasgow Coma Scale ≥13) or abnormal. Diagnostic accuracy of pre-hospital haemodynamics as a predictor of pelvic fracture requiring intervention within 24 h was assessed. Results: There were 376 patients with PCCD in-situ on hospital arrival. Pelvic fractures were diagnosed in 137 patients (36.4%). Of these, 39 (28.5%) were haemodynamically normal and 98 (71.5%) were haemodynamically abnormal. The most common mechanisms of injury were motor vehicle collision (57.7%) and motorcycle collision (13.8%). Of those with fractures, 40 patients (29.2%) required pelvic intervention within 24 h of admission; of these, 8 (20%) were haemodynamically normal and 32 (80%) were haemodynamically abnormal. As a test for pelvic fracture requiring intervention within 24 h, abnormal pre-hospital haemodynamics had a sensitivity of 0.80 (95% CI 0.64-0.91), specificity of 0.32 (95% CI 0.27-0.38) and negative predictive value (NPV) of 0.93 (95% CI 0.88-0.96). Combined with absence of a major mechanism of injury, normal haemodynamics had a sensitivity 1.00, specificity 0.51 (95% CI 0.36-0.66) and NPV of 1.00 for pelvic intervention within 24 h. Conclusion: Normal haemodynamic status, combined with absence of major mechanism of injury can rule out requirement for urgent pelvic intervention. Ongoing surveillance is recommended to monitor for any adverse effects of this change in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-9
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Pelvic binder
  • Pelvic circumferential compression devices
  • Pelvic fracture
  • Pre-hospital care
  • Trauma

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