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The reliability of thromboelastography in a simulated rotary wing environment
  1. Robert Scott1,
  2. Brian Burns1,
  3. Sandra Ware1,
  4. Floris Oud1,
  5. Matthew Miller1,2
  1. 1Greater Sydney Area HEMS, NSW Ambulance, Bankstown Airport, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2St George & Sutherland Clinical Schools, UNSW, Sydney, NSW
  1. Correspondence to Dr Robert Scott, Greater Sydney Area HEMS, NSW Ambulance, Bankstown Airport, NSW 2200, Australia; robert.scott{at}


Background With the increasing role of point-of-care coagulation testing in trauma, we sought to test the reliability of the thromboelastography (TEG)6s machine in a simulated rotary wing environment.

Method A two-arm study was conducted, running TEG6s quality control cartridges in a helicopter flight simulator with realistic vibration and in stable ground conditions. The flight conditions during testing included take-offs, landings and inflight emergencies such as engine failures. TEG values for R time, K time, α-angle and maximum amplitude (MA) were collected and compared with manufacturers’ normal ranges.

Results 148 TEG samples were included for analysis (72 simulator arm, 76 ground arm). In the simulator arm, four of our K time values fell below the normal range and four MA values were above the normal range. All other values in both simulator and ground arms were in the normal range.

Conclusion The TEG6s is a viable technology in the simulated rotary wing environment, and it is feasible to conduct further studies using human blood in live rotary wing conditions. Extreme flight conditions should be avoided during further testing.

  • trauma
  • prehospital care, helicopter retrieval

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  • Contributors All authors have made significant contribution to this paper. The original concept was a joint contribution from RS, BB and SW. The study and data collection was then completed by RS and FO. The first draft of paper was then contributed to by RS (all sections), BB (Introduction & Discussion), SW (Introduction and Results/Data Analysis) and FO (Discussion). MM then contributed editing advice on all sections, but then following initial rejection of the paper contributed to the rewriting of the results section. Editing of the final draft of all sections was completed by both RS and MM.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests QC cartridges for the TEG6s were supplied free of charge by Haemonetics Australia.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement All data have been supplied in full as a supplementary file. There are no extra data to report.