Successful limb salvage beyond the golden time following blu
Open complete transection of the femoral artery and vein following blunt trauma is extremely rare. Furthermore, even if the patient has been successfully resuscitated, it is sometimes difficult in most patients to preserve the injured limb, especially after damage control resuscitation. We report a case of open complete transection of the femoral artery and vein secondary to high-energy blunt trauma and a successful limb preservation treatment strategy.

A 57-year-old man was transferred to the hospital after having fallen from the 15th floor of a condominium. The patient was in cardiac arrest at the scene but was successfully resuscitated by emergency medical services staff. On arrival, the patient’s hemodynamics were completely collapsed with active external bleeding from the thigh, so we immediately started resuscitation including activation of massive transfusion protocol, and temporarily ligated the transected proximal superficial femoral artery, deep femoral artery just distal after branching lateral femoral circumflex artery and the superficial femoral vein. Following radiological findings showing a potential pelvic fracture with active bleeding, we also performed retroperitoneal packing in the resuscitation room and moved the patient to the angiography room for transcatheter arterial embolization. The patient’s consciousness was preserved and perfusion of the injured limb was barely maintained after his hemodynamics were adequately stabilized. As detected weak perfusion of the lower limb via a potential collateral flow from the lateral femoral circumflex artery branches from the deep femoral artery by pulse doppler of the dorsal pedis artery, surgeons decided to reconstruct superficial femoral artery and vein at 24 h after injury using great saphenous vein bypass grafts. The patient was transferred to a rehabilitation hospital with good neurological and limb outcomes after hospitalization for 52 days.

Surgeons successfully preserved the patient’s lower limb after cardiac arrest and complete transection of the femoral artery and vein and achieved a good neurological outcome. Even if a femoral artery needs to be ligated temporarily, careful observation and assessment should be performed so as not to lose the chance to salvage the limb even during damage control resuscitation.