Resuscitation and Blood Utilization Guidelines for the Multiply Injured, Multiple Amputee


Given the current tempo of overseas contingency operations, military orthopaedic surgeons are increasingly performing their duties in an austere environment. At Level 1 trauma centers and combat support hospitals, resources tend to be more abundant than in less ‘‘metropolitan’’ locations. Combat casualty care has reinforced the idea of a multidisciplinary team approach to severely injured trauma patients. During mass casualty situations, as seen recently in Haiti and in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, all members of the trauma team may need to perform duties on the periphery of their comfort zone. Early involvement of orthopaedic surgeons in damage control surgery, as well as resuscitation, are critical to the survival of patients with high amputations, multiple amputations, open pelvic injuries, and mangled extremities common in high-energy penetrating and blast-induced trauma. This article introduces the concept of Damage Control Resuscitation to the orthopaedic surgeon, and also presents a treatment guideline for use as appropriate. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 21(1):15–21, 2012)

LCDR Keith A. Alfieri, MD; CAPT(s) Eric A. Elster, MD; CAPT James Dunne, MD