Admission Rapid Thrombelastography (rTEG®) Values Predict Resuscitation Volumes and Patient Outcomes After Thermal Injury

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In trauma, admission rapid thrombelastography (rTEG) has been shown to predict in-hospital thromboembolic events, guide treatment of coagulopathy, and identify likely to require large volume resuscitations. We sought to evaluate the use of rTEG in describing the coagulation status of major burn patients at admission and assess whether rTEG values predicted resuscitation volumes and patient outcomes. This is a retrospective study of all patients admitted to our Burn ICU between January 2010 and December 2012. We excluded those with < 15% TBSA burns, < 18 years of age, and with concomitant injuries requiring admission to the Trauma ICU. Previously published and validated cut points for hypocoagulable (activated clotting time ≥ 128; k-time ≥ 2.5; angle ≤ 60; mA ≤ 55; LY30 ≥ 3%) and hypercoagulable (mA ≥ 65) rTEG values were used. Supra-normal burn resuscitation was defined as ≥ 5.0 mL/kg/TBSA. Statistical analyses were conducted using STATA 13.1. Sixty-five patients met inclusion with a median age of 45 years, 74% male and 49% white. Median TBSA was 38% with 14% having third-degree burns. Sixty percentage of patients were hypercoagulable on admission, while 24% were hypocoagulable. rTEG values predicted increased 24-hour resuscitation volumes, as well as plasma and platelet transfusions (P < 0.05). Controlling for age, TBSA, and base deficit, admission rTEG ≥ 128 predicted a 5-fold increased likelihood of supra-normal resuscitation. In addition, an angle < 60 predicted in-hospital mortality. While the majority of severely burned patients arrive hypercoagulable, one-quarter are hypocoagulable and have increased resuscitation and transfusion requirements. Moreover, those with admission activated clotting time ≥ 128 are at 5-fold increased risk of supra-normal resuscitation.

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