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Control of massive bleeding from facial gunshot wound with a compact elastic adhesive compression dressing

The American Journal of Emergency Medicine
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.ajem.2004.09.004
  • Clinical Notes
  • Medicine


Abstract The issue of immediate control of acute external traumatic hemorrhage is poorly dealt with in the medical literature. A compact unit incorporating the desired components capable of applying significant compression over diverse body areas has been suggested in the past but not formally demonstrated effective in practice. In this report we describe the treatment of a young man presenting with a very large, complex, profusely bleeding facial gunshot wound. The calvarium remained intact. The upper airway was diverted and secured by performing a cricothyroidotomy. A transparent elastic adhesive dressing was then applied by covering the anterior aspect of the face by a contact pad followed by sequential wrapping of the roll covering all structures between the forehead and the neck. This procedure successfully controlled the hemorrhage and maintained the victim’s condition hemodynamically stable until definitive surgical intervention at the level 1 medical center. We attribute the survival of this victim to the innovative dressing technique and excellent cooperation between the trauma team and hospital staff. This case demonstrates the contribution of elastic adhesive compression dressing towards saving the lives of those inflicted by severely challenging bleeding wounds. We sugggest this technique be considered by Emergency personnel working in the prehospital arena in selected cases.

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