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The use of new procoagulants in blunt and penetrating trauma

Peralta, Maria Rita; Chowdary, Pratima

Current Opinion in Anesthesiology: April 2019 - Volume 32 - Issue 2 - p 200–205
doi: 10.1097/ACO.0000000000000696

Purpose of review Uncontrolled bleeding in trauma secondary to a combination of surgical bleeding and trauma-induced complex coagulopathy is a leading cause of death. Prothrombin complex concentrates (PCCs), recombinant activated factor seven (rFVIIa) and recombinant human prothrombin act as procoagulants by increasing thrombin generation and fibrinogen concentrate aids stable clot formation. This review summarizes the current evidence for procoagulant use in the management of bleeding in trauma, and data and evidence gaps for routine clinical use.

Recent findings Retrospective and prospective studies of PCCs (±fibrinogen concentrate) have demonstrated a decreased time to correction of trauma coagulopathy and decreased red cell transfusion with no obvious effect on mortality or thromboembolic outcomes. PCCs in a porcine model of dilutional coagulopathy demonstrated a sustained increase in thrombin generation, unlike recombinant human prothrombin which showed a transient increase and has been studied only in animals. In other retrospective studies, there is a suggestion that lower doses of PCCs may be effective in the setting of acquired coagulopathy.

Summary There is increasing evidence that early correction of coagulopathy has survival benefits, and the use of procoagulants as first-line therapy has the potential benefit of rapid access and timely treatment. This requires confirmation in prospective studies.

Katharine Dormandy Haemophilia and Thrombosis Centre, Dept. of Haematology, Royal Free Hospital, London, UK

Correspondence to Pratima Chowdary, Consultant Haematologist, KD Haemophilia and Thrombosis Centre, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK. E-mails:,

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