[Coagulation management in the treatment of multiple trauma]

Anaesthesist. 2009 Oct;58(10):1010-26. doi: 10.1007/s00101-009-1595-z.
[Article in German]


In recent years a new understanding of trauma-associated hemorrhaging and trauma-induced coagulopathy has been achieved. This coagulopathy is multifactorial with the predominant mechanisms being tissue trauma, shock and hypoperfusion which can lead to hyperfibrinolysis by activation of the endothelium. Routinely tested coagulation parameters, such as prothrombin time and partial thromboplastin time, are frequently employed for decision making but remain problematic as they do not give any information on clot stability, lysis or platelet function. Thrombelastometry seems to be a useful alternative. A pro-active anticipatory approach is required for a successful outcome to be achieved as rescue correction is more difficult than prevention. While the pathophysiological conception of causal relationship of the mentioned therapeutic options is conclusive, an evidence-based validation by randomized controlled studies is mostly lacking. The emergency and anesthesiological concept of damage control resuscitation consists of limiting volume therapy with crystalloids and colloids to reach a mean arterial pressure > or =65 mmHg (higher for head injuries), active (re-)warming management, the prevention of a pH< or =7.2 and a base excess (BE) < or =-6 mmol/l. The early and sufficient application of hemostatic drugs is essential. Because erythrocytes play a substantial role in the coagulation process, hemoglobin (Hb) values of around 6. 2 mmol/l (10 g/dl) and/or a hematocrit of 30% should be strived for when massive non-arrested hemorrhaging occurs. After severe multiple trauma a fibrinogen deficit develops and must be adequately compensated. If coagulation therapy is carried out using fresh frozen plasma sufficient quantities (20-30 ml/kgBW) must be administered to correspondingly raise the coagulation factors. Prothrombin complex concentrates can be helpful to optimize thrombin generation during severe hemorrhaging. Because hyperfibrinolysis occurs more often than previously assumed during severe trauma, an anti-fibrinolytic therapy should be used especially for patients with an instable circulation. The platelet count should not go below 100,000/microl when hemorrhaging occurs after multiple trauma. For thrombocytopathic patients with diffuse bleeding desmopressin (DDAVP) is a therapeutic option and the "off label" use of recombinant activated factor VIIa (rFVIIa) remains an option for individual situations with stringent indications and when the above named measures to optimize the coagulation situation have been taken.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acidosis / etiology
  • Acidosis / therapy
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / diagnosis
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / etiology*
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / therapy*
  • Blood Component Transfusion
  • Fibrinolysis
  • Hemostasis
  • Hemostatics / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hypotension, Controlled
  • Hypothermia, Induced
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / therapy
  • Multiple Trauma / blood*
  • Multiple Trauma / therapy*
  • Partial Thromboplastin Time
  • Plasma
  • Shock, Hemorrhagic / therapy
  • Thrombelastography


  • Hemostatics