Although damage control resuscitation (DCR) is routinely performed for short durations, prolonged DCR may be required in military conflicts as a component of prolonged field care. Valproic acid (VPA) has been shown to have beneficial properties in lethal hemorrhage/trauma models. We sought to investigate whether the addition of a single dose of VPA to a 72-hour prolonged DCR protocol would improve clinical outcomes.
Fifteen Yorkshire swine (40–45 kg) were subjected to lethal (50% estimated total blood volume) hemorrhagic shock (HS) and randomized to three groups: (1) HS, (2) HS-DCR, (3) HS-DCR-VPA (150 mg/kg over 3 hours) (n = 5/cohort). In groups assigned to receive DCR, Tactical Combat Casualty Care guidelines were applied (1 hour into the shock period), targeting a systolic blood pressure of 80 mm Hg. At 72 hours, surviving animals were given transfusion of packed red blood cells, simulating evacuation to higher echelons of care. Survival rates, physiologic parameters, resuscitative fluid requirements, and laboratory profiles were used to compare the clinical outcomes.
This model was 100% lethal in the untreated animals. DCR improved survival to 20%, although this was not statistically significant. The addition of VPA to DCR significantly improved survival to 80% (p < 0.01). The VPA-treated animals also had significantly (p < 0.05) higher systolic blood pressures, lower fluid resuscitation requirements, higher hemoglobin levels, and lower creatinine and potassium levels.
VPA administration improves survival, decreases resuscitation requirements, and improves hemodynamic and laboratory parameters when added to prolonged DCR in a lethal hemorrhage model.