Pelvic fractures: classification and nursing management

Nurs Stand. 2011 Nov;26(10):49-57; quiz 58. doi: 10.7748/ns2011.


Fractures to the pelvis can occur as a result of low-energy or high-energy trauma. Pelvic fractures may be associated with significant internal bleeding and injury to the organs within the pelvis. Patients with pelvic fractures often have complex healthcare needs; fractures resulting from high-energy trauma may be associated with multiple injuries, whereas fractures resulting from low-energy trauma, such as falls, may be associated with multiple patient comorbidities. Nurses have a fundamental role in the assessment and observation of the patient following pelvic fracture and are crucial in identifying any changes or deterioration in the patient's condition that require prompt intervention. This article focuses on the relevant anatomy of the pelvis, epidemiology and classification of pelvic fractures, and outlines the management and complications of pelvic fractures.

MeSH terms

  • Fractures, Bone / classification*
  • Fractures, Bone / complications
  • Fractures, Bone / nursing*
  • Fractures, Bone / pathology
  • Humans
  • Pelvis / injuries*