Ratio-driven resuscitation predicts early fascial closure in the combat wounded

Jacob Glaser*, Matthew Vasquez, Cassandra Cardarelli, James Dunne, Eric Elster, Emily Hathaway, Benjamin Bograd, Shawn Safford, Carlos Rodriguez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom have seen the highest rates of combat casualties since Vietnam. These casualties often require massive transfusion (MT) and immediate surgical attention to control hemorrhage. Clinical practice guidelines dictate ratio-driven resuscitation (RDR) for patients requiring MT. With the transition from crystalloid to blood product resuscitation, we have seen fewer open abdomens in combat casualties. We sought to determine the effect RDR has on achieving early definitive abdominal fascial closure in combat casualties undergoing exploratory laparotomy. METHODS: Records of 1,977 combat casualties admitted to a single US military hospital from April 2003 to December 2011 were reviewed. Patients receiving an MTand laparotomy in theater constituted the study cohort. The cohort was divided into RDR, defined as a ratio of 0.8-U to 1.2-U packed red blood cells to 1-U fresh frozen plasma, and No-RDR groups. Age, injury patterns, mechanism of injury, injury severity, blood products, number of laparotomies, and days to fascial closure were collected. Assessed outcomes were number of days (early ≤ 2 days) and number of laparotomies to achieve fascial closure. RESULTS: The mean age of the study cohort (n = 172) was 24.0 years, and mean Injury Severity Score (ISS) was 24.8. Improvised explosive device blast was the most common mechanism of injury (74.4%). The cohort was divided into RDR patients (n = 73) and no RDR (n = 99). There was no difference in mean age, mean ISS, or rate of nontherapeutic exploratory laparotomies between the groups. RDR patients had a significantly lower abdominal injury rate (34.2% vs. 72.7%, p < 0.01), had fewer laparotomies (2.7 vs. 4.3, p = 0.003), and achieved primary fascial closure faster (2.4 days vs. 7.2 days, p = 0.004). On multivariate analysis, RDR (2.74; 95% confidence interval, 1.44-5.2) was an independent predictor for early fascial closure. CONCLUSION: Adherence to RDR guidelines resulted in significantly decreased number of abdominal operations and was identified as an independent predictor for early fascial closure. Further investigation is warranted to validate these findings. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic study, level III.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S188-S192
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Combat casualty care
  • Damage control
  • Massive transfusion
  • Open abdomen


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