Addition of tranexamic acid to a traumatic injury massive transfusion protocol

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Abstract

Purpose.

The development of eligibility criteria and use of tranexamic acid in conjunction with a massive transfusion protocol (MTP) are described.

Summary.

The trauma surgery and pharmacy departments collaborated to operationalize tranexamic acid administration in trauma patients for whom an MTP was activated. The MTP at Boston Medical Center, an urban, tertiary, academic medical center, is activated by the attending physician when the patient is expected to require at least 10 units of packed red blood cells in 24 hours. Tranexamic acid was considered in MTP trauma patients who arrived at the medical center within 8 hours of traumatic injury, were 15 years of age or older, and weighed at least 40 kg. Eligible patients were to receive a loading dose of tranexamic acid 1 g i.v. over 10 minutes followed by a maintenance dose of 1 g infused over 8 hours. To ensure that tranexamic acid use was limited to trauma patients, both its location of use and physician-ordering privileges were restricted by the pharmacy department. A 16-month assessment revealed that 16 patients received tranexamic acid, 13 (81%) of whom met all criteria for use. Tranexamic acid was used in 13 (38%) of 34 eligible MTP patients. Barriers to the use of tranexamic acid include a lack of familiarity with the medication among staff, drug availability, the complexity of administration, and the critical setting of MTP activation.

Conclusion.

Multidisciplinary collaboration and standardization of tranexamic acid use in conjunction with an MTP promoted use of the drug within a trauma population.

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