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BACKGROUND: Tranexamic acid (TXA) is an antifibrinolytic drug associated with improved survival among trauma patients with hemorrhage. Tranexamic acid is considered a primary hemostatic intervention in prehospital for treatment of bleeding alongside blood product transfusion.

METHODS: A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to investigate the impact of prehospital TXA on mortality among trauma patients with bleeding. A systematic search was conducted using the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Healthcare Databases Advanced Search library which contain the following of databases: EMBASE, Medline, PubMed, BNI, EMCARE, and HMIC. Other databases searched included SCOPUS and the Cochrane Central Register for Clinical Trials Library. Quality assessment tools were applied among included studies; Cochrane Risk of Bias for randomized control trials and Newcastle-Ottawa Scale for cohort observational studies.

RESULTS: A total of 797 publications were identified from the initial database search. After removing duplicates and applying inclusion/exclusion criteria, four studies were included in the review and meta-analysis which identified a significant survival benefit in patients who received prehospital TXA versus no TXA. Three observational cohort and one randomized control trial were included into the review with a total of 2,347 patients (TXA, 1,169 vs. no TXA, 1,178). There was a significant reduction in 24 hours mortality; odds ratio (OR) of 0.60 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.37-0.99). No statistical significant differences in 28 days to 30 days mortality; OR of 0.69 (95% CI, 0.47-1.02), or venous thromboembolism OR of 1.49 (95% CI, 0.90-2.46) were found.

CONCLUSION: This review demonstrates that prehospital TXA is associated with significant reductions in the early (24 hour) mortality of trauma patients with suspected or confirmed hemorrhage but no increase in the incidence of venous thromboembolism.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Level I

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