Effects of early use of external pelvic compression on transfusion requirements and mortality in pelvic fractures

Vafa Ghaemmaghami, Jason Sperry, Mark Gunst, Randall Friese, Adam Starr, Heidi Frankel, Larry M. Gentilello, Shahid Shafi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations


Background: We hypothesized that early use of external mechanical compression (EMC) reduces hemorrhage and mortality associated with pelvic fractures. Methods: Patients with pelvic fractures and one of the following risk factors for hemorrhage were studied retrospectively: (1) unstable fracture pattern, or (2) any fracture in patients older than 55 years of age, or (3) fracture with sytemic hypotension. Starting in November of 2003, EMC was performed using circumferential pelvic binders on patient arrival and continued for 24 to 72 hours. Patients who underwent EMC (n = 118) were compared with historical controls in the preceding year (n = 119). Results: Patients in the EMC and control groups had similar fracture patterns, age, and injury severity. EMC had no effect on mortality (23% vs 23%, P = .92), need for pelvic angioembolization (11% vs 15%, P = .35), or 24-hour transfusions (5.2 ± 10 vs 4.6 ± 9 U, P = .64). Conclusions: Early EMC with pelvic binders does not reduce hemorrhage or mortality associated with pelvic fractures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)720-723
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007



  • External pelvic compression
  • Pelvic binders
  • Pelvic fractures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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