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Minerva Anestesiologica 2006 June;72(6):383-7


language: English

Treatment of critical bleeding in trauma patients

Chiara O. 1, Cimbanassi S. 1, Brioschi P. R. 2, Bucci L. 2, Terzi V. 1, Vesconi S. 1

1 Trauma Team Unit, Niguarda Ca’ Granda Hospital, DEA EAS, Milan, Italy 2 Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Unit I, Niguarda Ca’ Granda Hospital, DEA EAS, Milan, Italy


Aim. Massive haemorrhage after trauma is a big challenge for care-givers, being a leading cause of early in-hospital mortality. Surgical bleeding may be easily controlled with several techniques. Otherwise, consumptive coagulopathy is often extremely difficult to stop. An adjunctive strategy to treat traumatic coagulopathic bleeding is recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) (NovoSeven®, Novo Nordisk A/S, Bagsvaerd, Denmark).
Methods. All major trauma victims haemodinamically unstable (systolic blood pressure<90 mmHg or >90 mmHg with massive infusions or vasopressors) admitted to the Emergency Department of the Niguarda Ca’ Granda Hospital in Milan from October 2002 to September 2005 were reviewed. Mechanical bleeding was controlled with interventional techniques when indicated. Blood derivatives were administrated to maintain haemoglobin>7g/dL, INR<1.5, fibrinogen >1 and platelet count >50x109. Off-label administration of rFVIIa was performed in the last year in any coagulopathic salvageable patient when all other strategies failed to control bleeding.
Results. Major trauma were 942, mean age 32.49±18.44 years, 94% blunt trauma, 25.13% haemodynamically unstable. Deaths occurred in 17.02% of cases before any procedure. Emergency invasive treatments were performed in 72.34% of cases. Infusions restored haemodynamic stability in 10.63% of patients. In average 9.4±4.1 units of red blood cells were transfused in unstable patients. rFVIIa (dosing 60-100 mg/kg) was administrated in 12 patients. Mortality occurred in 33.33% of cases. The principal cause of death was brain injury. A femoral artery thrombosis was observed in a mangled leg. No other adverse effects due to rFVIIa were documented.
Conclusion. Off-label administration of rFVIIa was able to reverse life-threatening bleeding not manageable with standard strategies in our series of major trauma patients without systemic adverse effects.

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