Catastrophic haemorrhage accounts for up to 40% of global trauma related mortality and is the leading cause of preventable deaths on the battlefield. Controlling abdominal and junctional haemorrhage is challenging, especially in the pre-hospital setting or ‘under fire’, yet there is no haemostatic agent which satisfies the seven characteristics of an ‘ideal haemostat’. We conducted a systematic search of Embase, Medline, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and Web of Science to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of three types of haemostatic devices. Participants included any trauma patient in a pre-hospital setting, perfused human cadavers, or healthy human volunteer simulations. The haemostatic devices reviewed were REBOA, iTClampTM, and four junctional tourniquets: AAJT, CRoC, JETT, and SJT. The SJT had the best user survey performance of the junctional tourniquets, and the four junctional tourniquets had an overall efficacy of 26.6–100% and an application time of 10–203 s. The iTClampTM had an efficacy of 60–100% and an application time of 10–60 s. REBOA had an efficacy of 71–100% and an application time ranging from 5 min to >80 min. In civilian and military trauma patients the use of junctional tourniquets, iTClamp, or REBOA, mortality varied from 0–100%. All of these studies were deemed low to very low in quality, hence the reliability of data presented in each of the studies is called into question. We conclude that despite limited data for these devices, their use in the pre-hospital environment or ‘under fire’ is feasible with the correct training, portable imaging, and patient selection algorithms. However, higher quality studies are required to confirm the true efficacy of these devices.
- junctional tourniquet
- haemostatic device