Background The evacuated hemothorax has been poorly described because it varies with time, it has been found to be incoagulable, and its potential effect on the coagulation cascade during autotransfusion is largely unknown. Methods This is a prospective descriptive study of adult patients with traumatic chest injury necessitating tube thoracostomy. Pleural and venous samples were analyzed for coagulation, hematology, and electrolytes at 1 to 4 hours after drainage. Pleural samples were also analyzed for their effect on the coagulation cascade via mixing studies. Results Thirty-four subjects were enrolled with a traumatic hemothorax. The following measured coagulation factors were significantly depleted compared with venous blood: international normalized ratio (>9 vs 1.1) (P <.001) and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) (>180 vs 24.5 seconds) (P <.001). Mixing studies showed a dose-dependent increase in coagulation dilutions through 1:8 (P <.05). Conclusions An evacuated hemothorax does not vary in composition significantly with time and is incoagulable alone. Mixing studies with hemothorax plasma increased coagulation, raising safety concerns.
- Disseminated intravascular coagulation
- Pleural blood
ASJC Scopus subject areas