Lessons Learned for the Resuscitation of Traumatic Hemorrhagic Shock

Philip C. Spinella, Jeremy G. Perkins, Andrew P. Cap

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The lessons learned regarding the resuscitation of traumatic hemorrhagic shock are numerous and come from a better understanding of the epidemiology, pathophysiology, and experience in this population over 10-plus years of combat operations. We have now come to better understand that the greatest benefit in survival can come from improved treatment of hemorrhage in the prehospital phase of care. We have learned that there is an endogenous coagulopathy that occurs with severe traumatic injury secondary to oxygen debt and that classic resuscitation strategies for severe bleeding based on crystalloid or colloid solutions exacerbate coagulopathy and shock for those with life-threatening hemorrhage. We have relearned that a whole blood-based resuscitation strategy, or one that at least recapitulates the functionality of whole blood, may reduce death from hemorrhage and reduce the risks of excessive crystalloid administration which include acute lung injury, abdominal compartment syndrome, cerebral edema, and anasarca. Appreciation of the importance of shock and coagulopathy management underlies the emphasis on early hemostatic resuscitation. Most importantly, we have learned that there is still much more to understand regarding the epidemiology, pathophysiology, and the resuscitation strategies required to improve outcomes for casualties with hemorrhagic shock.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-42
Number of pages6
JournalU.S. Army Medical Department journal
Issue number2-16
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016


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