Three case series were included in the review (n=66 participants): two prospective and one retrospective. The sample size of included studies ranged from 18 to 28 participants. The quality score ranged from 5 to 7 out of 9. The studies were graded as low to moderate quality. There was no evidence of statistical heterogeneity in any of the analyses.
Mortality (three studies; n=66 participants): The pooled overall mortality for pelvic packing was 28% (95% CI 16.8 to 39.4). The pooled rate of early mortality was 10% (95% CI 3 to 18) and the pooled rate of late mortality was 13% (95% CI 5 to 22).
Complications (three studies; n=66 participants): In two studies (n=46 participants), the pooled infection rate with pelvic packing was 35% (95% CI 21 to 48). In three studies (n=66 participants), the pooled multiple organ failure with pelvic packing was 9% (95% CI 2 to 16).
In the subgroup analyses, the overall mortality rate was 10% higher in the transabdominal patients (one study) compared with the extraperitoneal patients (two studies), but the rates of multiple organ failure were similar (9% versus 7%).