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The role of REBOA in the control of exsanguinating torso hemorrhage

Biffl, Walter L. MD; Fox, Charles J. MD; Moore, Ernest E. MD

Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery: May 2015 - Volume 78 - Issue 5 - p 1054–1058
doi: 10.1097/TA.0000000000000609
Current Opinions

ABSTRACT The management of patients with exsanguinating torso hemorrhage is challenging. Emergency surgery, with the occasional use of resuscitative thoracotomy for patient in extremis, is the current standard. Recent reports of REBOA (resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta) have led to discussions about changing paradigms in the management of patients in both civilian and military are nas. We submit that broad and liberal application of this technique is premature given the current data and in light of historical experience. We propose an algorithm for the management of patients with exsanguinating torso hemorrhage, as well as a set of research questions that we feel can help clarify the role of REBOA in modern trauma care in a variety of trauma settings.

From the Department of Surgery (W.L.B., C.J.F., E.E.M.), Denver Health Medical Center, Denver, Colorado.

Address for reprints: Walter L. Biffl, MD, Denver Health Medical Center, 777 Bannock St., MC 0206, Denver, CO 80204; email:

© 2015 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.