Craniosynostosis Surgery and the Impact of Tranexamic Acid Dosing

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Consensus does not exist regarding the best dosage regimen for using tranexamic acid (TXA) for patients undergoing open calvarial vault remodeling in craniosynostosis surgery. The purpose of this study was to evaluate 2 dosing protocols, as well as the cost of using TXA. Previously, the institutional protocol was to give patients undergoing open calvarial vault remodeling a loading infusion of TXA (10 mg/kg) at the start of their procedure, after which intravenous TXA (5 mg/kg/h) was given throughout surgery and for 24 hours postoperatively. In July 2015, the protocol changed to a reduced postoperative infusion time of 4 hours. A retrospective review was conducted of records of 30 patients who had surgery before the protocol change (24-hour group) and 23 patients whose surgery occurred after the protocol change (4-hour group). The following data were collected: blood volume transfused, hemoglobin levels, estimated blood loss, and intensive care days; and costs of TXA and blood transfusion. Results showed a 4-hour infusion was as effective as a 24-hour infusion for reducing blood loss in patients undergoing craniosynostosis. Transfusion requirements, hemoglobin and hematocrit levels, and estimated blood loss were not significantly different for the groups. The cost of TXA and transfusion in the 4-hour group was significantly less (P < 0.001) than in the 24-hour group. No significant difference in cost existed for patients who received blood transfusion alone versus patients who received the 4-hour TXA infusion.

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