January 11, 2021

Background: Current trauma resuscitation prioritizes control of bleeding and uses massive transfusion protocols to prevent and treat coagulopathy. This is typically done in the form of massive transfusion protocols delivered in proportions that approach the composition of whole blood. Two strategies to help guide this replacement of blood products are conventional coagulation tests and viscoelastic hemostatic assays.

December 16, 2020

Take Home Points
  • This is a resuscitative hysterotomy - focus is on saving the mother first. Delivering the fetus can improve venous return thus increasing chance to save mom
  • Don’t focus on gestational age to make the decision - if you think the belly is big enough to be causing compression of vascular structures, the procedure is indicated
  • Once you’ve made the decision - it’s go time. The faster you do it, the more likely you can salvage mom and the fetus
  • Large vertical incision to maximize exposure, locate uterus, vertical incision with scalpel and extend with scissors

November 26, 2020

Background: We have covered tranexamic acid (TXA) on this blog in several posts. Its use has been studied for everything that bleeds from abnormal uterine bleeding to GI hemorrhage and from multisystem trauma to intracranial hemorrhage. While over the past few years it has been touted as the wonderdrug for bleeding, newer research is beginning to challenge that thought (CRASH-3 trial, HALT-IT trial, etc.). The CRASH-2 trial showed that early administration of TXA (within 3 hours) to trauma patients improved all-cause mortality. However, obtaining rapid IV access in low resource, rural, or combat settings can be challenging. Only recently has research been conducted about intramuscular administration of TXA. Actually…we should really say that there has been a resurgence of interest in IM TXA. There were a couple studies published about its pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in the 1970s and 80s, followed by radio silence on the subject.1,2 Curiosity about the drug has picked back up over the past decade as its cost dropped and access to TXA increased exponentially. In fact, finding alternative routes of TXA administration in postpartum hemorrhage is a WHO priority.3 Today, we will review a recent article that explored the pharmacokinetics of intramuscular TXA in bleeding trauma patients.

October 24, 2020

Background: It almost seems that when it comes to the use of the antifibrinolytic agent tranexamic acid (TXA) in trauma, one argument has just been completed and another one comes up right behind it. Let’s take a step back. Most agree that the evidence clearly supports the role of the early in-hospital administration of TXA in major trauma (in conjunction with balanced blood product transfusion practices). Given the benefit of in-hospital use, and the evidence supporting most benefit with earlier use, it seemed to make intuitive sense to bring this out into the prehospital setting closer to the point-of-injury – many agencies have done just that. However, this particular area of use did not have any associated high-quality evidence. Led by a team out of the University of Pittsburgh (the same group that brought us the PAMPer trial in 2018), Guyette et al just released the Study of Tranexamic Acid During Air Medical and Ground Prehospital Transport (STAAMP) trial, published in JAMA Surgery.

July 23, 2020

Background: Trauma remains the leading cause of death in the United States for those aged less than 45 years old. Those who arrest from hemorrhage or other traumatic mechanism often carry a very poor prognosis. Various studies have placed the survival from blunt traumatic arrest at <10%. Much is dependent however on the systems approach to managing these patients – for example those patients who have very rapid access to surgical resuscitative techniques may have better outcomes. Nevertheless, given the typical young age of these victims, a significant effort is often made at resuscitation. This must be balanced with the potential risks to clinical staff, appropriate use of limited resources, and expected quality of life of survivors. To be able to predict better outcomes would be of use both in the prehospital and in-hospital environments.
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