Hemorrhage is a leading cause of deaths on the battlefield and damage control resuscitation (DCR) is a strategy used for resuscitating patients from hemorrhagic shock. DCR prioritizes non-surgical interventions, which may reduce mortality from trauma and hemorrhage.
DCR emerged as an extension of a principle used by trauma surgeons called damage control surgery (DCS), which limits surgical interventions to those which address life-threatening injuries and delays all other surgical care until metabolic and physiological imbalances have been treated.
When performing DCR efforts are focused on blood product transfusion with whole blood or component therapy closely approximating whole blood. The major principle of DCR is to restore homeostasis and prevent or mitigate the development of tissue hypoxia and oxygen debt as well as coagulopathy.
This is accomplished through aggressive hemorrhage control and blood transfusion, which restores tissue oxygenation and not only avoids platelet and coagulation factor dilution but also replaces lost hemostatic potential.
To avoid hypothermia, which can occur in bleeding patients even when ambient temperatures are elevated and medical personnel are uncomfortably warm, due to blood loss and hypoperfusion. Treatment should include urgent, active re-warming with all available means including heated fluids, fluid blankets, ventilators, warm environments, and rapid surgical care to minimize blood and heat loss.
To learn more about DCR and evidence-based best practices for addressing life-threatening injuries through aggressive hemorrhage control and early blood transfusion go to Department of Defense Center of Excellence for Trauma.
The ˚M Warmer System
The ˚M Warmer is a portable blood and IV fluid warming device optimal for both prehospital and hospital use as it is small, simple to use and has extremely efficient warming capabilities (150 ml/min).