Table of Contents
ISRN Critical Care
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 783478, 7 pages
Review Article

Treatment of Acute Coagulopathy Associated with Trauma

Departamento de Medicina Intensiva, Escuela de Medicina, Facultad de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Marcoleta 367, 02399 Santiago, Chile

Received 4 April 2013; Accepted 8 May 2013

Academic Editors: A. M. Japiassu, A. K. Mankan, and N. Q. Nguyen

Copyright © 2013 Carolina Ruiz and Max Andresen. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Coagulopathy is frequently present in trauma. It is indicative of the severity of trauma and contributes to increased morbidity and mortality. Uncontrolled bleeding is the most frequent preventable cause of death in trauma patients reaching hospital alive. Coagulopathy in trauma has been long thought to develop as a result of hemodilution, acidosis, and hypothermia often related to resuscitation practices. However, altered coagulation tests are already present in 25–30% of severe trauma patients upon hospital arrival before resuscitation efforts. Acute coagulopathy associated with trauma (ACoT) has been recognized in recent years as a distinct entity associated with increased mortality, morbidity, and transfusion requirements. Transfusion and nontransfusion strategies aimed at correcting ACoT, particularly in patients with massive bleeding and massive transfusion, are currently available. Early administration of tranexamic acid to bleeding trauma patients safely reduces the risk of death. It has been proposed that early aggressive blood product transfusional management of ACoT with a red blood cell : plasma : platelets ratio close to 1 : 1 : 1 could result in decreased mortality from uncontrolled bleeding.