Back to Journals » Open Access Emergency Medicine » Volume 4

The clinical effectiveness of permissive hypotension in blunt abdominal trauma with hemorrhagic shock but without head or spine injuries or burns: a systematic review

Authors Alsawadi A

Received 8 February 2012

Accepted for publication 23 March 2012

Published 31 May 2012 Volume 2012:4 Pages 21—29


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Abdulrahman Alsawadi

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, Colchester, Essex, United Kingdom

Background: Trauma is a major cause of death and disability. The current trend in trauma management is the rapid administration of fluid as per the Advanced Trauma Life Support guidelines, although there is no evidence to support this and even some to suggest it might be harmful. Some guidelines, protocols, and recommendations have been established for the use of permissive hypotension although there is reluctance concerning its application in blunt injuries.
Objectives: The aim of this review is to determine whether there is evidence of the use of permissive hypotension in the management of hemorrhagic shock in blunt trauma patients. This review also aims to search for any reason for the reluctance to apply permissive hypotension in blunt injuries.
Methods: This systematic review has followed the steps recommended in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. It is also being reported in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Statement and checklist. Database searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination databases and the Cochrane Library were made for eligible studies as well as journal searches. Inclusion criteria included systematic reviews that have similar primary questions to this review and randomized controlled trials where patients with blunt torso injuries and hemorrhagic shock were not excluded. Rapid or early fluid administration was compared with controlled or delayed fluid resuscitation and a significant outcome was obtained.
Results: No systematic reviews attempting to answer similar questions were found. Two randomized controlled trials with mixed types of injuries in the included patients found no significant difference between the groups used in each study. Data concerning the question of this review was sought after these papers were appraised.
Conclusion: The limited available data are not conclusive. However, the supportive theoretical concept and laboratory evidence do not show any reason for treating blunt injuries differently from other traumatic injuries. Moreover, permissive hypotension is being used for some nontraumatic causes of hemorrhagic shock and in theater. Therefore, this should encourage interested researchers to continue clinical work in this important field.

Keywords: trauma management, fluid administration, ATLS, permissive hypotension, hypotensive resuscitation

Creative Commons License © 2012 The Author(s). This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.