Open pelvic fractures

J Trauma. 1982 Jul;22(7):533-8. doi: 10.1097/00005373-198207000-00002.


Open pelvic fracture is a devastating injury with a reported 50% mortality rate from massive bleeding and pelvic sepsis. Utilizing a graded approach to management of hemorrhage that included wound packing, anti-shock trousers, angiographic embolization, and hemipelvectomy, we controlled bleeding in all but one of the 35 patients in this series. Patients lost an average of 15 units of blood. The overall survival rate was 94.5% in this series, with one death each from hemorrhage and head injury. Prevention of invasive infection by a diverting colostomy in patients with buttock wounds or perineal wounds was stressed, while anterior soft-tissue wound were managed selectively. Debridement and frequent dressing changes under anesthesia were necessary to prevent and/or treat soft-tissue infection. Associated injuries occur commonly with genitourinary and peripheral nerve trauma and account for the majority of the long-term morbidity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Colostomy
  • Female
  • Fractures, Open / complications
  • Fractures, Open / surgery
  • Fractures, Open / therapy*
  • Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Hemorrhage / prevention & control
  • Hemorrhage / therapy
  • Humans
  • Ligation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvic Bones / injuries*
  • Pelvis / injuries
  • Pressure
  • Wound Infection / prevention & control
  • Wound Infection / therapy