Early trauma-induced coagulopathy (ETIC) is abnormal coagulation detected on presentation, but a clear description is lacking. We used thromboelastography (TEG) to characterize ETIC. Data were prospectively collected on high-acuity trauma activations at an urban Level I trauma center between July 2012 and May 2013. Patients with admission TEG before any blood transfusion were stratified by Injury Severity Score (ISS): mild (less than 16), moderate (16 to 24), severe (25 or greater). TEG parameters were compared between groups. ETIC was defined as any abnormality detected on TEG. Fifty-two patients were included; mean age was 49 years and mean time to the emergency department was 26 minutes. Mean ISS for the cohort was 17 with 28 patients in mild, eight in moderate, and 16 in severe. Glasgow Coma Score was lower and head Abbreviated Injury Scale was higher in severe (P < 0.001). Forty-three (83%) patients had an abnormal TEG. Shortened reaction (R) time was noted in 42 patients. There were no differences in any TEG parameters between the injury severity groups. Hyperfibrinolysis was detected in four (8%) patients. ETIC was present in over 80 per cent of high-acuity trauma activations irrespective of injury severity and characterized primarily by shortened R time, indicating ETIC is initially described by a hypercoagulable state as a result of thrombin generation.
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