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Implementation of tranexamic acid for bleeding trauma patients: a longitudinal and cross-sectional study

Abstract

Objective To describe the use of tranexamic acid (TXA) in trauma care in England and Wales since the Clinical Randomization of an Antifibrinolytic in Significant Hemorrhage (CRASH-2) trial results were published in 2010.

Methods A national longitudinal and cross-sectional study using data collected through the Trauma Audit and Research Network (TARN), the clinical audit of major trauma care for England and Wales. All patients in the TARN database injured in England and Wales were included apart from those with an isolated traumatic brain injury, with a primary outcome of the proportion of patients given TXA and the secondary outcome of time to treatment.

Results Among 228 250 patients, the proportion of trauma patients treated with TXA increased from near zero in 2010 to 10% (4593) in 2016. In 2016, most patients (82%) who received TXA did so within 3 hours of injury, however, only 30% of patients received TXA within an hour of injury. Most (80%) of the patients who had an early blood transfusion were given TXA. Patients treated with TXA by an ambulance paramedic received treatment at a median of 49 min (IQR 33–72) compared with 111 min (IQR 77–162) for patients treated in hospital.

Conclusions There is a low proportion of patients treated with TXA across the range of injury severity and the range of physiological indicators of severity of bleeding. Most patients receive treatment within the existing target of 3 hours from injury, however there remains the potential to further improve major trauma outcomes by the earlier treatment of a wider patient group.

  • trauma, major trauma management
  • haematology

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