Post Traumatic Multi-Injured patients. To wait, to operate or to use Damage Control Orthopedic template? A case report

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Purpose. Damage Control Orthopedics (DCO) is a surgical concept used in the recovery of seriously injured patients. Given that the leading cause of death among trauma patients remains uncontrolled hemorrhage, DCO emphasizes on preventing the "lethal triad” of acidosis, coagulopathy and hypothermia, rather than correcting the anatomy immediately. Thereby, we are presenting the crucial importance of using this technique in severe trauma cases. Methods. A 23-year-old female was admitted in the Emergency Room as a multi-trauma patient. Following the Advanced Trauma Life Support protocol, fully exposure examination showed bilateral forearm and femur deformities, with bilateral open femur fracture, left ankle deformity and pelvic ecchymosis. X-rays confirmed fractures of the ribs, bilateral pulmonary contusion, fracture of the left ankle fracture, bilateral superior and inferior pubic ramus, and bilateral femur fractures with both bone midshaft fracture on the right leg. DCO was proceeded immediately, during which external fixators were placed on the fractures, while splinting both forearms. After 11 days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), the patient underwent the definitive surgeries. Results. Managing the patient with the DCO protocol first and not rushing with the definitive surgical procedures resulted in a proper stabilization. After two years follow up, the patient fully recovered and returned to a normal life style. Conclusion. Performing a definitive operation on severely injured patients results in deleterious effects that could lower life expectancy. Short-term physiological recovery should be prioritized over definitive management and DCO should be proceeded in order for the best outcomes to be achieved.

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Romanian Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology

Official publication of Societatea Română de Oncologie Musculo-Scheletală and Societatea Română de Artroplastie

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