Introduction: Patients with trauma-induced coagulopathies may benefit from the use of antifibrinolytic agents, such as tranexamic acid (TXA). This study evaluated the safety and efficacy of TXA in civilian adults hospitalized with traumatic hemorrhagic shock.
Methods: Patients who sustained blunt or penetrating trauma with signs of hemorrhagic shock from June 2014 through July 2018 were considered for TXA treatment. A retrospective control group was formed from patients seen in the same past five years who were not administered TXA and matched based on age, gender, Injury Severity Score (ISS), and mechanism of injury (blunt vs penetrating trauma). The primary outcome of this study was mortality measured at 24 hours, 48 hours, and 28 days. Secondary outcomes included total blood products transfused, hospital length of stay (LOS), intensive care unit LOS, and adverse events. We conducted three pre-specified subgroup analyses to assess outcomes of patients, including (1) those who were severely injured (ISS >15), (2) those who sustained significant blood loss (≥10 units of total blood products transfused), and (3) those who sustained blunt vs penetrating trauma.
Results: Propensity matching yielded two cohorts: the hospital TXA group (n = 280) and a control group (n = 280). The hospital TXA group had statistically lower mortality at 28 days (1.1% vs 5%, odds ratio [OR] [0.21], (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.06, 0.72)) and used fewer units of blood products (median = 4 units, interquartile range (IQR) = [1, 10] vs median=7 units, IQR = [2, 12.5] for the hospital TXA and control groups, respectively, (95% CI for the difference in median, -3 to -1). There were no statistically significant differences between groups with regard to 24-hour mortality (1.1% vs 1.1%, OR = 1, 95% CI, 0.20, 5.00), 48-hour mortality (1.1% vs 1.4%, OR [0.74], 95% CI, 0.17, 3.37), hospital LOS (median= 9 days, IQR = (5, 16) vs median =12 days IQR = (6, 22.5) for the hospital TXA and control groups, respectively, 95% CI for the difference in median = (-5 to 0)), and incidence of thromboembolic events (eg, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism) during hospital stay (0.7% vs 0.7% for the hospital TXA and control group, respectively, OR , 95% CI, 0.14 to 7.15). We conducted subgroup analyses on patients with ISS>15, patients transfused with ≥10 units of blood products, and blunt vs penetrating trauma. The results indicated lower 28-day mortality for ISS>15 (1.8% vs 7.1%, OR [0.23], 95% CI, 0.06 to 0.81) and blunt trauma (0.6% vs 6.3%, OR [0.09], 95% CI, 0.01 to 0.75); fewer units of blood products for penetrating trauma (median = 2 units, IQR = (1, 8) vs median = 8 units, IQR = (5, 15) for the hospital TXA and control groups, respectively, 95% CI for the difference in median = (-6 to -3)), and ISS>15 (median = 7 units, IQR = (2, 14) vs median = 8.5 units, IQR = (4, 16) for the hospital TXA and control groups, respectively, 95% CI for the difference in median, -3 to 0).
Conclusion: The current study demonstrates a statistically significant reduction in mortality after TXA administration at 28 days, but not at 24 and 48 hours, in patients with traumatic hemorrhagic shock.