The following article requires a subscription:



(Format: HTML, PDF)

BACKGROUND: Growing evidence supports improved survival with prehospital blood products. Recent trials show a benefit of prehospital tranexamic acid (TXA) administration in select subgroups. Our objective was to determine if receiving prehospital packed red blood cells (pRBC) in addition to TXA improved survival in injured patients at risk of hemorrhage.

METHODS: We performed a secondary analysis of all scene patients from the Study of Tranexamic Acid during Air and ground Medical Prehospital transport trial. Patients were randomized to prehospital TXA or placebo. Some participating EMS services utilized pRBC. Four resuscitation groups resulted: TXA, pRBC, pRBC TXA, and neither. Our primary outcome was 30-day mortality and secondary outcome was 24-hour mortality. Cox regression tested the association between resuscitation group and mortality while adjusting for confounders.

RESULTS: A total of 763 patients were included. Patients receiving prehospital blood had higher Injury Severity Scores in the pRBC (22 [10, 34]) and pRBC TXA (22 [17, 36]) groups than the TXA (12 [5, 21]) and neither (10 [4, 20]) groups (p < 0.01). Mortality at 30 days was greatest in the pRBC TXA and pRBC groups at 18.2% and 28.6% compared with the TXA only and neither groups at 6.6% and 7.4%, respectively. Resuscitation with pRBC TXA was associated with a 35% reduction in relative hazards of 30-day mortality compared with neither (hazard ratio, 0.65; 95% confidence interval, 0.45-0.94; p = 0.02). No survival benefit was observed in 24-hour mortality for pRBC TXA, but pRBC alone was associated with a 61% reduction in relative hazards of 24-hour mortality compared with neither (hazard ratio, 0.39; 95% confidence interval, 0.17-0.88; p = 0.02).

CONCLUSION: For injured patients at risk of hemorrhage, prehospital pRBC TXA is associated with reduced 30-day mortality. Use of pRBC transfusion alone was associated with a reduction in early mortality. Potential synergy appeared only in longer-term mortality and further work to investigate mechanisms of this therapeutic benefit is needed to optimize the prehospital resuscitation of trauma patients.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic/Care Management; Level III.

(C) 2022 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.