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Drivers of acute coagulopathy after severe trauma: a multivariate analysis of 1987 patients
  1. Arasch Wafaisade1,
  2. Sebastian Wutzler2,
  3. Rolf Lefering3,
  4. Thorsten Tjardes1,
  5. Marc Banerjee1,
  6. Thomas Paffrath1,
  7. Bertil Bouillon1,
  8. Marc Maegele1,4,
  9. Trauma Registry of DGU
  1. 1Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Witten/Herdecke, Cologne-Merheim Medical Center (CMMC), Cologne, Germany
  2. 2Department of Trauma Surgery, Hospital of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt, Germany
  3. 3Institute for Research in Operative Medicine (IFOM), University of Witten/Herdecke, Cologne-Merheim Medical Center (CMMC), Cologne, Germany
  4. 4Committee on Emergency Medicine, Intensive and Trauma Care (Sektion NIS) of the German Society for Trauma Surgery (DGU), Berlin, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Arasch Wafaisade, Department of Trauma and Orthopedic Surgery, University of Witten/Herdecke, Cologne-Merheim Medical Center (CMMC), Ostmerheimerstr. 200, D-51109 Cologne, Germany; wafaisadea{at}


Objective The role of acute coagulopathy after severe trauma as a major contributor to exsanguination and death has recently gained increasing appreciation, but the causes and mechanisms are not fully understood. This study was conducted to assess the risk factors associated with acute traumatic coagulopathy together with quantitative estimates of their importance.

Methods Using the multicentre Trauma Registry of the German Society for Trauma Surgery, adult trauma patients with an Injury Severity Score ≥16 were retrospectively analysed for independent risk factors of acute traumatic coagulopathy on arrival at the emergency department (ED) by multivariate stepwise logistic regression analysis. Coagulopathy was defined as prothrombin time test (Quick's value) <70% and/or platelets <100 000/μl.

Results A total of 1987 patients was eligible for further analysis. Independent risk factors for acute traumatic coagulopathy calculated by multivariate analysis were the Injury Severity Score, abdomen Abbreviated Injury Scale score, base excess, body temperature ≤35°C, presence of shock at the scene and/or in the ED (defined as systolic blood pressure ≤90 mm Hg), prehospital intravenous colloid:crystalloid ratio ≥1:2 and amount of prehospital intravenous fluids ≥3000 ml.

Conclusions The risk factors from multivariate analysis correspond to the current understanding that coagulopathy is influenced by several clinical key factors; for example, an ongoing state of shock (at the scene and in the ED) was associated with a threefold increased risk of developing coagulopathy. When adjusted for all factors including the amount of prehospital intravenous fluids, a high colloid:crystalloid ratio was still associated with coagulopathy on admission to the ED. The recognition, prevention and management of the mechanisms and risk factors of coagulopathy aggravating haemorrhage after trauma are critical in the treatment of the severely injured patient.

  • Multiple trauma
  • coagulopathy
  • haemorrhage
  • multivariate analysis
  • intravenous fluids
  • emergency care systems
  • primary care
  • haematology
  • trauma
  • trauma
  • major trauma management
  • trauma
  • research

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  • Competing interest None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.