Main content area

Successful management of catastrophic peripheral vascular hemorrhage using massive autotransfusion and damage control surgery in a dog

Ghosal, Rita D.K., Bos, Alexandra
Journal of veterinary emergency and critical care 2019 v.29 no.4 pp. 439-443
Labrador Retriever, blood, blood vessels, blood volume, case studies, dogs, femur, hemoglobinuria, hemorrhage, hemostasis, males, orthopedics, osteotomy, washing
OBJECTIVE: To describe a case of massive transfusion using unwashed, non‐anticoagulated, nonsterile autologous blood in a dog with catastrophic hemorrhage from a peripheral vessel during orthopedic surgery. A damage control surgical strategy was also employed. CASE SUMMARY: A 6‐year‐old, 48 kg neutered male Labrador Retriever experienced massive hemorrhage after transection of a large blood vessel while undergoing femoral head and neck osteotomy. Blood was collected from clean, but not sterile, suction canisters and clots were skimmed off. The blood was then transfused back to the dog using a standard in‐line blood filter. Approximately 58% of the dog's blood volume was autotransfused in less than 2 hours, thereby meeting the criteria for massive transfusion. Surgery was aborted after hemostasis was achieved by ligation of the vessel and packing of the surgical site. Two units of fresh frozen plasma were administered postoperatively due to the development of a coagulopathy. Hemoglobinuria developed but resolved within 18 hours. Three days later, completion of the surgical procedure was performed without incident. The dog was discharged 4 days after the initial surgery. Marked swelling of the affected limb developed, but resolved after the sixth day. No other significant complications developed. NEW OR UNIQUE INFORMATION PROVIDED: In this case report, the authors describe the successful management of catastrophic hemorrhage with autotransfusion performed in the absence of sterile collection, cell washing, or anticoagulation. Although not ideal, autotransfusion under these conditions can be lifesaving in situations of massive hemorrhage. This case also highlighted the employment of a damage control surgical strategy.