Early versus late recombinant factor VIIa in combat trauma patients requiring massive transfusion

Jeremy G. Perkins*, Martin A. Schreiber, Charles E. Wade, John B. Holcomb

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Coagulopathy is a consequence of severe trauma, especially in massively transfused patients (≥10 units of red blood cells in 24 hours), and is associated with increased mortality. We hypothesized that recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa) administered to massive transfusion patients before transfusion of 8 units of blood (early) would reduce transfusion requirements compared with rFVIIa after 8 units (late). METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed records for trauma admissions to combat support hospitals in Iraq between January 2004 and October 2005. Patients requiring a massive transfusion and receiving rFVIIa were identified. Groups were divided into those who received rFVIIa early or late. RESULTS: Of 5,334 trauma patients (civilian and military), 365 (6.8%) required massive transfusion. Of these, 117 (32%) received rFVIIa. Complete records for blood transfusions were available for 61 patients: 90% had penetrating trauma, 17 received rFVIIa early, and 44 received it late. At admission, temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, Glasgow Coma Scale score, base deficit, hemoglobin, platelets, prothrombin time/International Normalized Ratio, and Injury Severity Score were similar in both groups as were administered units of fresh frozen plasma, fresh whole blood, cryoprecipitate (cryo), and crystalloid. The early rFVIIa group required fewer units of blood during the first 24-hour period (mean 20.6 vs. 25.7, p = 0.048) and fewer units of stored red blood cells (mean 16.7 vs. 21.7, p = 0.049). Early and late mortality (33.3% vs. 34.2%, p = NS), acute respiratory distress syndrome (5.9 vs. 6.8%, p = NS), infection (5.9% vs. 9.1%, p = NS), and thrombotic events (0% vs. 2.3%, p = NS) were similar. CONCLUSIONS: Early administration of rFVIIa decreased red blood cell use by 20% in trauma patients requiring massive transfusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1095-1099
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood transfusion
  • Coagulopathy
  • Combat
  • Massive transfusion
  • Penetrating
  • Recombinant factor VIIa
  • Trauma


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