A clinical series of resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta for hemorrhage control and resuscitation

J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2013 Sep;75(3):506-11. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e31829e5416.


Background: A requirement for improved methods of hemorrhage control and resuscitation along with the translation of endovascular specialty skills has resulted in reappraisal of resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA) for end-stage shock. The objective of this report was to describe implementation of REBOA in civilian trauma centers.

Methods: Descriptive case series of REBOA (December 2012 to March 2013) used in scenarios of end-stage hemorrhagic shock at the University of Maryland, R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, Baltimore, Maryland, and Herman Memorial Hospital, The Texas Trauma Institute, Houston, Texas.

Results: REBOA was performed by trauma and acute care surgeons for blunt (n = 4) and penetrating (n = 2) mechanisms. Three cases were REBOA in the descending thoracic aorta (Zone I) and three in the infrarenal aorta (Zone III). Mean (SD) systolic blood pressure at the time of REBOA was 59 (27) mm Hg, and mean (SD) base deficit was 13 (5). Arterial access was accomplished using both direct cutdown (n = 3) and percutaneous (n = 3) access to the common femoral artery. REBOA resulted in a mean (SD) increase in blood pressure of 55 (20) mm Hg, and the mean (SD) aortic occlusion time was 18 (34) minutes. There were no REBOA-related complications, and there was no hemorrhage-related mortality.

Conclusion: REBOA is a feasible and effective means of proactive aortic control for patients in end-stage shock from blunt and penetrating mechanisms. With available technology, this method of resuscitation can be performed by trauma and acute care surgeons who have benefited from instruction on a limited endovascular skill set. Future work should be aimed at devices that allow easy, fluoroscopy-free access and studies to define patients most likely to benefit from this procedure.

Level of evidence: Therapeutic study, level V.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aorta, Thoracic
  • Aortic Diseases / therapy*
  • Balloon Occlusion*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Resuscitation / methods*
  • Shock, Hemorrhagic / therapy*
  • Trauma Centers
  • Young Adult