Objectives: The primary aim of this study was to assess whether local administration of tranexamic acid (TXA) reduced the need for a blood transfusion in elderly patients treated with an intramedullary (IM) nail for an intertrochanteric fracture.
Design: Randomized prospective trial.
Setting: Academic level 1 trauma center.
Patients: Two hundred patients (200 fractures) over 65 years with an intertrochanteric fracture treated by IM nail between April 1, 2012, and March 31, 2014.
Intervention: Subfascial administration of 3 g of TXA around the fracture site at the end of the surgical procedure, versus a control group without TXA. Follow-up ranged from 12 to 24 months.
Main Outcome Measures: Group differences in number of transfused packed red blood cell (PRBC) units, and hematocrit, hemoglobin, and platelet count.
Results: There was a 43% reduction in transfusion requirements in the TXA group (P < 0.01). Twenty-seven units of PRBC were transfused in 22/100 patients in the TXA group, whereas 48 PRBC units were transfused in 29/100 patients in control group. There was no difference between the 2 groups in terms of late complications and overall mortality rate.
Conclusions: Subfascial administration of TXA around the fracture site in elderly patients undergoing IM nailing for intertrochanteric fractures is safe and cost-effective. A significant reduction in blood loss and transfused blood units, and health care cost can be achieved.
Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level I. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
*Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece; and
†Department of Orthopaedics, Attikon University Hospital, Athens, Greece.
Reprints: Sokratis E. Varitimidis, MD, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Thessaly, Medical School Biopolis, Larissa 41110, Greece (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Presented in part as a free oral presentation at the 16th EFORT Congress, May 27, 2015, Prague, Czech Republic.
The authors report no conflict of interest.
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Accepted March 03, 2016