Coagulopathy after traumatic injury has multiple etiologies. It may result from overwhelming activation of tissue factor, consumption of circulating coagulation proteins, massive transfusion, metabolic alterations, hypothermia, or any combination of these factors. Despite advances in trauma resuscitation, the problem of persistent, life-threatening coagulopathy continues to pose a significant challenge for the healthcare team, and sometimes is an insurmountable obstacle in the path to recovery of the patient with trauma. Development of a coagulopathy has a significant impact on the morbidity and mortality of the patient with trauma. This article describes the relevant pathophysiology as it relates to the development of a coagulopathy, prevention strategies, and management principles applied in caring for the patient with trauma and a coagulopathy.
Hematology| May 01 2002
Coagulopathies in Trauma Patients
Linda A. Lapointe, RN, MS;
From the Medical and Coronary ICU, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Tex (Ms Lapointe); and APACHE Medical Systems, Inc., McLean, Va (Ms Von Rueden).
Reprint requests to Linda A. Lapointe, Major, Army Nurse, RN, MS, Department of Nursing, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234 (e-mail: Linda.Lapointe@CEN.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL).
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Kathryn T. Von Rueden, RN, MS, FCCM
AACN Adv Crit Care (2002) 13 (2): 192–203.
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Linda A. Lapointe, Kathryn T. Von Rueden; Coagulopathies in Trauma Patients. AACN Adv Crit Care 1 May 2002; 13 (2): 192–203. doi:
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