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The last decade has seen a sea change in the management of major haemorrhage following traumatic injury. Damage control resuscitation (DCR), a strategy combining the techniques of permissive hypotension, haemostatic resuscitation and damage control surgery has been widely adopted as the preferred method of resuscitation in patients with haemorrhagic shock. The over-riding goals of DCR are to mitigate metabolic acidosis, hypothermia and coagulopathy and stabilise the patient as early as possible in a critical care setting. This narrative review examines the background to these changes in resuscitation practice, discusses the central importance of traumatic coagulopathy in driving these changes particularly in relation to the use of high FFP:RBC ratio and explores methods of predicting, diagnosing and treating the coagulopathy with massive transfusion protocols as well as newer coagulation factor concentrates. We discuss other areas of trauma haemorrhage management including the role of hypertonic saline and interventional radiology. Throughout this review we specifically examine whether the available evidence supports these newer practices.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1021 - 1028


Blood Coagulation Disorders, Blood Transfusion, Evidence-Based Medicine, Female, Hemostatics, Humans, Male, Multiple Trauma, Resuscitation, Saline Solution, Hypertonic, Shock, Hemorrhagic