INTRODUCTION: In Europe, there is little experience in the application of temporary cava filters in patients with multiple injuries. Especially patients with pelvic injuries, fractures of the spine, and the lower extremities are at high risk for thromboembolic events like thrombosis or pulmonary emboli. Moreover, in patients with severe head injuries, anticoagulation is contraindicated. METHOD: We present in this paper our experience with 24 consecutive patients with multiple injuries who were treated with a temporary cava filter. The insertion site was either the femoral (n = 20) or the jugular (n = 4) vein. The 24 patients revealed a mean ISS of 35.1 +/- 2.01 points. Nineteen patients had pelvic injuries and 17 patients suffered from severe head injury. In 17 patients the insertion of the filter was prophylactic, in 4 patients a thrombosis was present and in 3 patients a non-fatal pulmonary emboli was diagnosed before the application of a cava filter. RESULTS: No complication occurred due to insertion of the filter. In one patient a thrombosis of the cava was observed as the only overall complication (1 of 24 = 4.2%). CONCLUSION: The insertion of a cava filter in patients with multiple injuries with contraindication for anticoagulation is a safe and effective procedure to prevent fatal pulmonary emboli.