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Influence of prehospital volume replacement on outcome in polytraumatized children

Bjoern Hussmann1*, Rolf Lefering2, Max Daniel Kauther1, Steffen Ruchholtz3, Patrick Moldzio4, Sven Lendemans1 and the TraumaRegister DGU®

Author Affiliations

1 Trauma Surgery Department, University Hospital Essen, Hufelandstraße 55, Essen 45122, Germany

2 Institute for Research in Operative Medicine (IFOM), Faculty of Health, University of Witten/Herdecke, Cologne Merheim Medical Centre, Ostmerheimer Straße 200, Cologne 51109, Germany

3 Department of Trauma, Hand and Reconstructive Surgery, University Hospital Giessen and Marburg, Baldingerstraße, Marburg 35043, Germany

4 Clinic for Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, University Hospital Essen, Hufelandstraße 55, Essen 45122, Germany

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Critical Care 2012, 16:R201  doi:10.1186/cc11809

Published: 18 October 2012



Severe bleeding after trauma frequently results in poor outcomes in children. Prehospital fluid replacement therapy is regarded as an important primary treatment option. Our study aimed, through a retrospective analysis of matched pairs, to assess the influence of prehospital fluid replacement therapy on the post-traumatic course of severely injured children.


The data for 67,782 patients from the TraumaRegister DGU® of the German Trauma Society were analyzed. The following inclusion criteria were applied: injury severity score ≥16 points, primary admission, age 1 to 15 years old, systolic blood pressure ≥20 mmHg at the accident site and transfusion of at least one unit of packed red blood cells (pRBC) in the emergency trauma room prior to intensive care admission. As volume replacement therapy depends on age and body weight, especially in children, three subgroups were formed according to the mean value of the administered prehospital volume. The children were matched and enrolled into two groups according to the following criteria: intubation at the accident site (yes/no), Abbreviated Injury Scale (four body regions), accident year, systolic blood pressure and age group.


A total of 31 patients in each group met the inclusion criteria. An increase in volume replacement was associated with an elevated need for a transfusion (≥10 pRBC: low volume, 9.7%; high volume, 25.8%; P = 0.18) and a reduction in the ability to coagulate (prothrombin time ratio: low volume, 58.7%; high volume, 55.6%; P = 0.23; prothrombin time: low volume, 42.2 seconds; high volume, 50.1 seconds; P = 0.38). With increasing volume, the mortality (low volume, 19.4%; high volume, 25.8%; P = 0.75) and multiple organ failure rates (group 1, 36.7%; group 2, 41.4%; P = 0.79) increased. With increased volume, the rescue time also increased (low volume, 62 minutes; high volume, 71.5 minutes; P = 0.21).


For the first time, a tendency was shown that excessive prehospital fluid replacement in children leads to a worse clinical course with higher mortality and that excessive fluid replacement has a negative influence on the ability to coagulate.