ABSTRACT: Recent findings have emphasized the need for early and aggressive coagulation support in bleeding trauma patients. This study aimed to examine whether blood component transfusion and hemostatic drug administration during acute trauma care have changed in daily practice during the recent years.
The multicenter trauma registry of the German Society for Trauma was retrospectively analyzed for primarily admitted patients older than 16 years with an Injury Severity Score ≥ 16 who had received at least five red blood cell (RBC) units between emergency room arrival and intensive care unit admission. Administration of fresh frozen plasma and platelet units has been documented since 2002, and use of hemostatic drugs since 2005.
From 2002 until 2009 (n = 2,813), the fresh frozen plasma:RBC ratio increased from 0.65 to 0.75 (p = 0.02) and the platelet:RBC ratio from 0.04 to 0.09 (p < 0.0001). A constant increase was also observed regarding the overall use of hemostatic drugs (n = 1,811; 2005-2009) as these were administered to 43.4% of the patients in 2005 and to 60.7% in 2009 (p < 0.0001). Especially, the administration of fibrinogen concentrate (2005: 17.0%, 2009: 45.6%; p < 0.0001) and recombinant factor VIIa (2005: 1.9%, 2009: 6.3%; p = 0.04) showed a marked increase. However, mortality rates remained unchanged during the 8-year study period.
The therapy of bleeding trauma patients has changed in Germany during the recent years toward more aggressive coagulation support. This development continues although grades of evidence are still low regarding most of the changes reported in our study. Randomized controlled trials are needed with respect to blood component therapy using predefined ratios and to the administration of hemostatic drugs commonly used for the severely injured.
The journal of trauma and acute care surgery. 04/2012; 72(4):936-42.