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Major pelvic fractures


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The identification of high-risk factors in patients with fractures of the pelvis at the time of presentation would facilitate investigation and management. In a series of 174 consecutive patients with unstable fractures of the pelvic ring, clinical data were used to calculate the injury severity score (ISS), the triage-revised trauma score (T-RTS), and the Glasgow coma scale (GCS). The morphology of the fracture was classified according to the AO system and that of Burgess et al. The data were analysed using univariate and multivariate methods in order to determine which presenting features were identified with high risk.

Univariate analysis showed an association between mortality and an ISS over 25, a T-RTS below eight, age over 65 years, systolic blood pressure under 100 mmHg, a GCS of less than 8, blood transfusion of more than ten units in the first 24 hours and colloid infusion of more than six litres in the first 24 hours. Multivariate analysis showed that age, T-RTS and ISS were independent determinants of mortality. A T-RTS of eight or less identified the cohort of patients at greatest risk (65%). The morphology of the fracture was not predictive of mortality. We recommend the use of the T-RTS in the acute situation in order to identify patients at high risk.

Correspondence should be sent to Mr J. F. Keating; e-mail: john.keating@ed.ac.uk

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