Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Eric Barth


Background: Unstable pelvic fractures are associated with serious venous and arterial hemorrhage, displaced pelvic bones, and many more complications. Pelvic binders are temporary external immobilization devices that intend to reduce the pelvis back into near anatomic position and reduce the volume of the pelvis to minimize hemorrhage severity. Methods: The information in this paper was researched using databases such as PubMed, UpToDate and Google Scholar as well as cross-referenced articles and organizational websites specific to pelvic injuries. Phrases related to pelvic fractures and pelvic binders were searched and peer-reviewed, credible sources were used. Discussion: The current recommendation according to Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) protocol is to place a pelvic binder at the level of the greater trochanters in patients who have experienced high-energy trauma or are presenting with polytrauma. The placement of the binder and assessment of distal extremity circulation, motor and neurologic function need to be frequently assessed. There need to be more studies looking at timing of the placement of the binder as well as a way to reduce false negative outcomes on imaging when a binder is in place. Conclusion: The initial evaluation of a patient with a severe pelvic injury is crucial in providing life-saving management. Review of current literature indicates that the use of pelvic binders should be used to minimize fatal sequalae of unstable pelvic fractures. Frequent monitoring and assessment of patient function must be a part of the ongoing care in the trauma patient to prevent adverse outcomes from the use of pelvic binders such as underlying soft tissue damage and skin necrosis.


SC 11.PAS.2019.Thayer.P