Emergency angio-embolisation in the operating theatre for trauma patients using the C-Arm digital subtraction angiography


      Background and aims: Angio-embolisation in trauma is a relatively new technique that is gaining popularity and recognition in identifying and arresting bleeding in trauma patients. We studied the possibility whether angio-embolisation using the Digital Subtraction Angiography (DSA), in the operating theatre (OT) could achieve successful haemostasis in trauma patients. We further studied the feasibility of using this technique as part of trauma resuscitation/damage control. Methods: A retrospective study of trauma patients, with Injury Severity Score (ISS ≥ 9), admitted to Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) from January 2004 to December 2008 was done. Patients who had received angio-embolisation in the OT or angiography suite were evaluated in terms of age, gender, ISS, the site and type of angioembolisation used. The primary end point was to assess the success rate of angioembolisation using the C-Arm DSA in the OT, and whether there were any complications necessitating a repeat procedure or surgical intervention. The secondary end points of the study were aimed at studying the cost effectiveness of this technique, logistical feasibility and evaluating this technique as part of the initial trauma resuscitative efforts. Results: A total of 43 trauma patients received angioembolisation. 32 patients had the angio-embolisation done using the C-Arm DSA in the OT (n = 32). None of the patients who received angioembolisation in the operating theatre (n = 32) had any re-bleeding. 15 out of 32 survived. There were no complications related to the angio-embolisation procedure. The majority of angio-embolisations done were for pelvic fractures. Conclusion: The success of angio-embolisation in the OT using the C-Arm DSA for a trauma patient and its complication rates are similar to that done in a dedicated angio-graphic suite. We conclude that angio-embolisation in the operating theatre using the C-Arm DSA is feasible, cost effective and can be a modality in the initial trauma resuscitation/damage control in any lead lined operating theatre. We believe that we are the first to describe this method of angio-embolisation using the C-Arm DSA in a conventional lead lined trauma operating theatre and its use as a feasible option in a trauma resuscitation/damage control algorithm.


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