Patients with major pelvic fractures present many diagnostic and management complexities. This article surveys current information on pelvic fractures, including epidemiology, hemorrhage, management of patients, and associated injuries.

The spectrum of patients with pelvic fractures ranges from patients with isolated, simple fractures to critically injured patients with multiple other life-threatening injuries. Critical care nurses care for patients with major pelvic fractures in many settings, including transport, trauma resuscitation bays, perioperative areas, and intensive care units. Accordingly, they need to understand the issues involved in providing that care. In this article, we survey the current information on pelvic fractures, including epidemiology, anatomy, assessment of patients, hemorrhage, management, and associated injuries.

Motor vehicle crashes, including motor vehicles crashing into pedestrians, cause about 60% of pelvic fractures. Most of the remainder result from falls.1–,8 Frequency of fracture is highest for occupants of sub-compact or compact automobiles and for occupants of...

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