Traumatic injury remains the leading cause of death among individuals younger than age 45 years. Hemorrhage is the primary preventable cause of death in trauma patients. Management of hemorrhage focuses on rapidly controlling bleeding and addressing the lethal triad of hypothermia, acidosis, and coagulopathy. The principles of damage control surgery are rapid control of hemorrhage, temporary control of contamination, resuscitation in the intensive care unit to restore normal physiology, and a planned, delayed definitive operative procedure. Damage control resuscitation focuses on 3 key components: fluid restriction, permissive hypotension, and fixed-ratio transfusion. Rapid recognition and control of hemorrhage and implementation of resuscitation strategies to control damage have significantly improved mortality and morbidity rates. In addition to describing the basic principles of damage control surgery and damage control resuscitation, this article explains specific management considerations for and potential complications in patients undergoing damage control interventions in an intensive care unit.

You do not currently have access to this content.