Paramedics' perceptions and experiences of pelvic injuries in prehospital situations

Richard Ward
Friday, November 2, 2018

Mortality rates remain high in patients with pelvic injuries despite improvements in trauma care in recent years. Pelvic injuries are associated with patients with a high Injury Severity Score (ISS); it can therefore be difficult to distinguish whether the pelvic injury was a primary causative factor of mortality. ‘Open book’ fractures carry a mortality rate as high as 50% and clinicians should therefore have a low threshold for suspecting a pelvic injury. Paramedics should follow the latest guidance found in the UK Ambulance Service Clinical Practice Guidelines (Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee (JRCALC), 2016; 2017). Additionally, log rolling and/or ‘springing’ the pelvis of a patient with a pelvic injury will cause pain, disrupt clots and distort a potential fracture. Furthermore, pelvic binders/splints can reduce the area into which a patient can haemorrhage, if they are placed correctly. Lastly, triage of these patients can be difficult and major trauma centres should be considered for definitive care.

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