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Pilot randomized trial of pre-hospital advanced therapies for the control of hemorrhage (PATCH) using pelvic binders

Published:January 04, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2020.12.082

      Abstract

      Background

      Pelvic fractures represent a small percent of all skeletal injuries but are associated with significant morbidity and mortality secondary to hemodynamic instability from bleeding bone surfaces and disrupted pelvic vasculature. Stabilization of the pelvis prior to arrival at a treatment facility may mitigate the hemodynamic consequences of pelvic ring injuries and improve morbidity and mortality. Whether pelvic compression devices such as pelvic binders or sheets can be safely applied in the prehospital setting has not been well-studied. This study aims to evaluate the safety of applying a pelvic binder to at-risk patients in the field after scalable training and the feasibility of conducting a randomized trial evaluating this practice in the prehospital setting.

      Methods

      A pilot study (prospective randomized trial design) was conducted in the pre-hospital environment in an urban area surrounding a level-one trauma center. Pre-hospital emergency medical (EMS) personnel were trained to identify patients at high-risk for pelvic fracture and properly apply a commercial pelvic binder. Adult patients with a high-energy mechanism, suspected pelvic fracture, and “Priority 1” criteria were prospectively identified by paramedics and randomized to pelvic binder placement or usual care. Medical records were reviewed for safety outcomes. Secondary outcomes were parameters of efficacy including interventions needed to control hemorrhage (such as angioembolization and surgical control of bleeding) and mortality.

      Results

      Forty-three patients were randomized to treatment (binder: N=20; nonbinder: N=23). No complications of binder placement were identified. Eight patients (40%) had binders placed correctly at the level of the greater trochanter. Two binders (10%) were placed too proximally and 10 (50%) binders were not visualized on x-ray. Two binder group patients and three nonbinder group patients required angioembolization. None required surgical control of pelvic bleeding. Two nonbinder group patients and one binder group patient were readmitted within 30 days and one nonbinder group patient died within 30 days.

      Conclusion

      Identification of pelvic fractures in the field remains a challenge. However, a scalable training model for appropriate binder placement was successful without secondary injury to patients. The model for conducting prospective, randomized trials in the prehospital setting was successful.

      Keywords

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