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South African Journal of Surgery

On-line version ISSN 2078-5151
Print version ISSN 0038-2361


HANNINGTON, M et al. The impact of thromboelastography on patients with penetrating abdominal trauma requiring intensive care. S. Afr. j. surg. [online]. 2023, vol.61, n.2, pp.36-41. ISSN 2078-5151.

BACKGROUND: Trauma-induced coagulopathy (TIC) is a complex multifaceted process which contributes to higher mortality rates in severely injured trauma patients. Thromboelastography (TEG) is effective in detecting TIC which assists in instituting goal-directed therapy as part of damage control resuscitation METHODS: This retrospective study included all adult patients over a 36-month period with penetrating abdominal trauma who required a laparotomy, blood products and admission for critical care. Analysis included demographics, admission data, 24-hour interventions, TEG parameters and 30-day outcomes RESULTS: Eighty-four patients with a median age of 28 years were included. The majority (93%; 78/84) suffered from a gunshot injury, with 75% (63/84) receiving a damage control laparotomy. Forty-eight patients (57%) had a TEG. Injury severity score and total fluid and blood product administered in the first 24 hours were all significantly higher in patients who had a TEG (p < 0.05). TEG profiles were: 42% (20/48) normal, 42% (20/48) hypocoagulable, 12% (6/48) hypercoagulable and 4% (2/48) mixed parameters. Fibrinolysis profiles were: 48% (23/48) normal, 44% (21/48) fibrinolysis shutdown and 8% (4/48) hyperfibrinolysis. Mortality rate was 5% (4/84) at 24 hours and 26% (22/84) at 30 days, with no difference between the two groups. High-grade complication rates, days on a ventilator and intensive care unit length of stay were all significantly higher in patients who did not have a TEG CONCLUSION: TIC is common in severely injured penetrating trauma patients. The usage of a thromboelastogram did not impact on 24-hour or 30-day mortality but did result in a decreased intensive care stay and a decreased high-grade complication rate

Keywords : thromboelastography; penetrating abdominal trauma; critical care.

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