Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

Current outcomes of blunt open pelvic fractures: how modern advances in trauma care may decrease mortality.

  • Author(s): Siada, Sammy S;
  • Davis, James W;
  • Kaups, Krista L;
  • Dirks, Rachel C;
  • Grannis, Kimberly A
  • et al.


Open pelvic fracture, caused by a blunt mechanism, is an uncommon injury with a high mortality rate. In 2008, evidence-based algorithm for managing pelvic fractures in unstable patients was published by the Western Trauma Association (WTA). The use of massive transfusion protocols has become widespread as has the availability and use of pelvic angiography. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcome of open pelvic fractures in association with related advances in trauma care.


A retrospective review was performed, at an American College of Surgeon verified level I trauma center, of patients with blunt open pelvic fractures from January 2010 to April 2016. The WTA algorithm, including massive transfusion protocol, and pelvic angiography were uniformly used. Data collected included injury severity score, demographic data, transfusion requirements, use of pelvic angiography, length of stay, and disposition. Data were compared with a similar study from 2005.


During the study period, 1505 patients with pelvic fractures were analyzed; 87 (6%) patients had open pelvic fractures. Of these, 25 were from blunt mechanisms and made up the study population. Patients in both studies had similar injury severity scores, ages, Glasgow Coma Scale, and gender distributions. Use of angiography was higher (44% vs. 16%; P=0.011) and mortality was lower (16% vs. 45%; P=0.014) than in the 2005 study.


Changes in trauma care for patients with open blunt pelvic fracture include the use of an evidence-based algorithm, massive transfusion protocols and increased use of angioembolization. Mortality for open pelvic fractures has decreased with these advances.

Level of evidence

Level IV.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View