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BACKGROUND: Hypofibrinogenemia has been shown to predict massive transfusion and is associated with higher mortality in severely injured patients. However, the role of empiric fibrinogen replacement in bleeding trauma patients remains controversial. We sought to determine the effect of empiric cryoprecipitate as an adjunct to a balanced transfusion strategy (1:1:1). STUDY DESIGN: This study is a subanalysis of patients treated at the single US trauma center in a multicenter randomized controlled trial. Trauma patients (more than 15 years) were eligible if they had evidence of active hemorrhage requiring emergent surgery or interventional radiology, massive transfusion protocol (MTP) activation, and received at least 1 unit of blood. Transfer patients, those with injuries incompatible with life, or those injured more than 3 hours earlier were excluded. Patients were randomized to standard MTP (STANDARD) or MTP plus 3 pools of cryoprecipitate (CRYO). Primary outcomes included all-cause mortality at 28 days. Secondary outcomes were transfusion requirements, intraoperative and postoperative coagulation laboratory values, and quality-of-life measures (Glasgow outcome score-extended). RESULTS: Forty-nine patients (23 in the CRYO group and 26 in the STANDARD group) were enrolled between May 2021 and October 2021. Time to randomization was similar between groups (14 vs 24 minutes, p = 0.676). Median time to cryoprecipitate was 41 minutes (interquartile range 37 to 48). There were no differences in demographics, arrival physiology, laboratory values, or injury severity. Intraoperative and ICU thrombelastography values, including functional fibrinogen, were similar between groups. There was no benefit to CRYO with respect to post-emergency department transfusions (intraoperative and ICU through 24 hours), complications, Glasgow outcome score, or mortality. CONCLUSIONS: In this study of severely injured, bleeding trauma patients, empiric cryoprecipitate did not improve survival or reduce transfusion requirements. Cryoprecipitate should continue as an "on-demand" addition to a balanced transfusion strategy, guided by laboratory values and should not be given empirically.

Original publication




Journal article


J Am Coll Surg

Publication Date





636 - 643


Humans, Blood Coagulation, Blood Transfusion, Fibrinogen, Hemorrhage, Hemostatics, Wounds and Injuries, Multicenter Studies as Topic, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic