Better than FFP in trauma?

Replacement of clotting factors in bleeding trauma patients seems to be of benefit, but are coagulation factor concentrates safer than fresh frozen plasma? This retrospective study suggests they might be; prospective studies are recommended.

INTRODUCTION: Clinical observations together with recent research highlighted the role of coagulopathy in acute trauma care and early aggressive treatment has been shown to reduce mortality.

METHODS: Datasets from severely injured and bleeding patients with established coagulopathy upon emergency room (ER) arrival from two retrospective trauma databases, (i) TR-DGU (Germany) and (ii) Innsbruck Trauma Databank/ITB (Austria), that had received two different strategies of coagulopathy management during initial resuscitation, (i) fresh frozen plasma (FFP) without coagulation factor concentrates, and (ii) coagulation factor concentrates (fibrinogen and/or prothrombin complex concentrates) without FFP, were compared for morbidity, mortality and transfusion requirements using a matched-pair analysis approach.

RESULTS: There were no major differences in basic characteristics and physiological variables upon ER admission between the two cohorts that were matched. ITB patients had received substantially less packed red blood cell (pRBC) concentrates within the first 6h after admission (median 1.0 (IQR(25-75) 0-3) vs 7.5 (IQR(25-75) 4-12) units; p

CONCLUSION: Although there was no difference in overall mortality between both groups, significant differences with regard to morbidity and need for allogenic transfusion provide a signal supporting the management of acute post-traumatic coagulopathy with coagulation factor concentrates rather than with traditional FFP transfusions. Prospective and randomised clinical trials with sufficient patient numbers based upon this strategy are advocated.

The impact of fresh frozen plasma vs coagulation factor concentrates on morbidity and mortality in trauma-associated haemorrhage and massive transfusion.
Injury. 2011 Jul;42(7):697-701