Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Variability of fluid administration during exploratory laparotomy for abdominal trauma
  1. Jennifer E Baker1,
  2. Grace E Martin1,
  3. Gianna Katsaros1,
  4. Hannah V Lewis1,
  5. Connor J Wakefield1,
  6. Sean A Josephs2,
  7. Vanessa Nomellini1,
  8. Amy T Makley1,
  9. Michael D Goodman1
  1. 1 Divisions of Trauma and Research, Section of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
  2. 2 Department of Anesthesia, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Michael D Goodman, Division of Trauma/Critical Care, Department of Surgery, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45220, USA; goodmamd{at}


Background Approximately 8% of traumatically injured patients require transfusion with packed red blood cells (pRBC) and only 1% to 2% require massive transfusion. Intraoperative massive transfusion was defined as requiring greater than 5 units (u) of pRBC in 4 hours. Despite the majority of patients not requiring transfusion, the appropriate amount and type of crystalloid administered during the era of damage control resuscitation have not been analyzed. We sought to determine the types of crystalloid used during trauma laparotomies and the potential effects on resuscitation.

Methods Patients who underwent laparotomy after abdominal trauma from January 2014 to December 2016 at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center were identified. Patients were grouped based on requiring 0u, 1u to 4u, and ≥5u pRBC during intraoperative resuscitation. Demographic, physiologic, pharmacologic, operative, and postoperative data were collected. Statistical analysis was performed with Kruskal-Wallis test and Pearson’s correlation coefficient.

Results Lactated Ringer’s (LR) solution was the most used crystalloid type received in the 0u and 1u to 4u pRBC cohorts, whereas normal saline (NS) was the most common in the ≥5u pRBC cohort. Most patients received two types of crystalloid intraoperatively. NS and LR were most frequently the first crystalloids administered, with Normosol infusion occurring later. The amount of crystalloid received correlated with operative length, but did not correlate with the estimated blood loss. Neither the type of crystalloid administered nor the anesthesia provider type was associated with changes in postoperative resuscitation parameters or electrolyte concentrations.

Discussion There is a wide variation in the amount and types of crystalloids administered during exploratory laparotomy for trauma. Interestingly, the amount or type of crystalloid given did not affect resuscitation parameters regardless of blood product requirement.

Level of evidence Level IV.

  • resuscitation fluid
  • resuscitation
  • laparotomy
  • fluid

This is an Open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

View Full Text

Statistics from


  • Presented at Presented at the Academic Surgical Congress, February 2018, Jacksonville, Florida.

  • Contributors JEB, GEM, SAJ, VN, ATM, MDG contributed to the design of the study. JEB, GEM, GK, CJW contributed to the acquisition of data. JEB, GEM, GK, CJW, MDG contributed to data analysis. JEB, GEM, HVL, MDG drafted the article. All authors contributed to critical review of the article and have agreed to the final version of the article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval University of Cincinnati Institutional Review Board.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.