Protocolised thromboelastometric-guided haemostatic management in patients with traumatic brain injury: a pilot study.
Gratz J., Güting H., Thorn S., Brazinova A., Görlinger K., Schäfer N., Schöchl H., Stanworth S., Maegele M.
Coagulopathy in patients with traumatic brain injury is associated with an increase in morbidity and mortality. Although timely and aggressive treatment of coagulopathy is of paramount importance, excessive transfusion of blood products has been linked with poor long-term outcomes in patients with traumatic brain injury. A point-of-care thromboelastometric-guided algorithm could assist in creating a more individually tailored approach to each patient. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of implementing a thromboelastometric-guided algorithm in centres that were formerly naïve to thromboelastometry. Hence, we developed such an algorithm and provided training to four centres across Europe to direct the haemostatic management of patients with severe traumatic brain injury. The primary outcome was adherence to the algorithm and timing of the availability of relevant results. Thirty-two patients were included in the study. Complete adherence to the algorithm was observed in 20 out of 32 cases. The availability of thromboelastometric results after hospital admission was reported significantly earlier than conventional coagulation tests (median (IQR [range]) 33 (20-40 [14-250]) min vs. 71 (51-101 [32-290]) min; p = 0.037). Although only 5 out of 32 patients had abnormalities of conventional coagulation tests, 21 out of 32 patients had a coagulopathic baseline thromboelastometric trace. Implementing a thromboelastometric-guided algorithm for the haemostatic therapy of traumatic brain injury is feasible in centres formerly naïve to this technology and may lead to more rapid and precise coagulation management. Further large-scale studies are warranted to confirm the results of this pilot trial and evaluate clinical outcomes.