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Management of limb and pelvic injuries 

Management of limb and pelvic injuries
Chapter:
Management of limb and pelvic injuries
Author(s):

Omar Sabri

and Martin Bircher

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199600830.003.0336
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date: 01 December 2020

Pelvic ring injuries can be life and limb threatening. The mechanism of injury can often be a good indicator of the type of injury; the Young & Burgess classification deploys that concept to full effect. Early identification based on mechanism of injury and improved prehospital care can play a major role in the outcome following such injuries. Pelvic ring injuries can lead to significant haemorrhage. Mechanical measures to stabilize the pelvis, in addition to modern concepts of damage control resuscitation (DCR), have been shown to be effective in early management of potentially life-threatening haemorrhage. Emphasis is now entirely on protecting the primary clot following a pelvic ring injury. Mechanical disturbance by log rolling the patient or springing of the pelvis are strongly discouraged. Early radiological clearance of the pelvis is encouraged. The lethal triad of coagulopathy, acidosis, and hypothermia should be corrected simultaneously to improve outcome. A traffic light system for monitoring venous lactate as an indicator of the patients’ physiological state can help the intensive care practitioner and the surgeon identify optimum timing for surgery. Pelvic ring injuries are associated with significant concomitant injuries. Limb trauma can also be life or limb threatening. Early identification, splinting, and resuscitation follow the same guidelines as pelvic ring injuries. Open long bone fractures should be managed by senior orthopaedic and plastic surgeons.

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