External counterpressure to control postoperative intra-abdominal hemorrhage

James F. Burdick, Andrew L. Warshaw, William M. Abbott

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42 Scopus citations


The effectiveness of the G-suit in controlling massive postoperative intra-abdominal hemorrhage was studied in twenty-eight patients whose diffuse bleeding could not be controlled during operation. Most patients had developed deficiencies of platelets and clotting factors due to dilution, and in addition three had documented disseminated intravascular coagulation. After application of the G-suit, hemorrhage stopped in nineteen patients, allowing the replacement of platelets and clotting factors in patients with deficiencies and the administration of heparin to three patients with disseminated intravascular coagulation. After an average of twenty-one hours the G-suit was removed without rebleeding in seventeen patients. The major cause of G-suit failure was an arterial source of intra-abdominal bleeding. Application of the G-suit had no adverse effect on renal function in at least half the patients; urinary output declined in one third. Most patients experienced respiratory impairment and some had ischemic skin lesions. The G-suit is frequently effective in halting postoperative intra-abdominal hemorrhage, allowing correction of acquired coagulopathies with acceptably few complications. Its use does not replace the need for proper surgical hemostasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-373
Number of pages5
JournalThe American Journal of Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1975
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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