11:52pm Thursday 09 April 2020

UMDNJ Physicians Develop Method Using Fist to Estimate Blood Loss at Scene of Trauma

A new, simple method developed by UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School may drastically improve their accuracy.

A team led by Dr. Mark Merlin, an assistant professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics at the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and medical director of emergency medical services at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, has developed the MAR Method, which relies upon a person’s fist to determine external blood loss.

In a clinical trial designed by Merlin, increments of human whole blood were measured. The researchers compared the anterior (palm side) surface of the fist to the surface area of blood present and created a formula averaging blood per fist. They determined that a fist covers a surface area of blood that equals roughly 20 mL.

Then two scenarios were staged using 75 mL and 750 mL of blood. Seventy-eight study participants were asked to estimate blood volumes before and after being taught the MAR Method. The first estimate was based upon a visual assessment. Additional estimates were made using the MAR Method. Participants got as close to the blood pool as possible and estimate the blood volume by counting how many fists it would take to cover the blood pool.

“After less than one minute of instruction, participants were able to determine blood volumes with improved accuracy and precision,” the researchers report in an article entitled “External blood loss estimation using the MAR Method.” The article recently appeared in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

“For years, several institutions have been trying to create a simple formula for determining blood loss with a rapid, precise and accurate method,” Merlin said. “Using multiple subjects and evaluating variability between fists, this is the first successful method.”

Reporters interested in arranging an interview with Dr. Mark Merlin, should contact Zenaida Mendez at (973) 972-7273 or email [email protected].

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is the nation’s largest free-standing public health sciences university with nearly 5,700 students attending the state’s three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and its only school of public health on five campuses. Annually, there are more than two million patient visits at UMDNJ facilities and faculty practices at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a statewide mental health and addiction services network.


Contact: Zenaida Mendez
Phone: (973) 972-7273
Email: [email protected]

Share on:

MORE FROM Medical Breakthroughs

Health news