Background: Blast injuries are an increasing problem owing to the widespread terrorist threat, but hemorrhage remains the second leading cause of civilian trauma death. Against this background, increasing numbers of prehospital and military trauma organizations are advocating a hypotensive approach to resuscitation of the hypovolemic casualty, deliberately aiming not to achieve a normal blood pressure so as not to disturb any newly formed blood clots at the site of a vascular injury.
Methods: There are no data available to guide clinicians as to how best to resuscitate the blast-injured casualty who has also suffered a hemorrhagic injury. A large-scale program was initiated to examine this question and to offer clinical guidance on the optimal resuscitation strategy in such circumstances in terms of volume, type of fluid, speed of resuscitation, and appropriate endpoints. Before such experiments could be undertaken, a novel large animal model of blast and hemorrhage had to be devised and validated. This study outlines the derivation of such a large animal model utilizing terminally anesthetized Large White pigs exposed to a standardized primary blast wave followed by a controlled hemorrhage of 30% of the total blood volume.
Results and conclusion: The preliminary results confirm the reliability and reproducibility of this model.