Development and validation of a prognostic model to predict death in patients with traumatic bleeding, and evaluation of the effect of tranexamic acid on mortality according to baseline risk: a secondary analysis of a randomised controlled trial

P Perel, D Prieto-Merino, H Shakur, I Roberts
Health Technology Assessment: HTA 2013, 17 (24): 1-45, v-vi

BACKGROUND: Severe bleeding accounts for about one-third of in-hospital trauma deaths. Patients with a high baseline risk of death have the most to gain from the use of life-saving treatments. An accurate and user-friendly prognostic model to predict mortality in bleeding trauma patients could assist doctors and paramedics in pre-hospital triage and could shorten the time to diagnostic and life-saving procedures such as surgery and tranexamic acid (TXA).

OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to develop and validate a prognostic model for early mortality in patients with traumatic bleeding and to examine whether or not the effect of TXA on the risk of death and thrombotic events in bleeding adult trauma patients varies according to baseline risk.

DESIGN: Multivariable logistic regression and risk-stratified analysis of a large international cohort of trauma patients.

SETTING: Two hundred and seventy-four hospitals in 40 high-, medium- and low-income countries.

PARTICIPANTS: We derived prognostic models in a large placebo-controlled trial of the effects of early administration of a short course of TXA [Clinical Randomisation of an Antifibrinolytic in Significant Haemorrhage (CRASH-2) trial]. The trial included 20,127 trauma patients with, or at risk of, significant bleeding, within 8 hours of injury. We externally validated the model on 14,220 selected trauma patients from the Trauma Audit and Research Network (TARN), which included mainly patients from the UK. We examined the effect of TXA on all-cause mortality, death due to bleeding and thrombotic events (fatal and non-fatal myocardial infarction, stroke, deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism) within risk strata in the CRASH-2 trial data set and we estimated the proportion of premature deaths averted by applying the odds ratio (OR) from the CRASH-2 trial to each of the risk strata in TARN.

INTERVENTIONS: For the stratified analysis according baseline risk we considered the intervention TXA (1 g over 10 minutes followed by 1 g over 8 hours) or matching placebo.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: For the prognostic models we included predictors for death in hospital within 4 weeks of injury. For the stratified analysis we reported ORs for all causes of death, death due to bleeding, and fatal and non-fatal thrombotic events associated with the use of TXA according to baseline risk.

RESULTS: A total of 3076 (15%) patients died in the CRASH-2 trial and 1705 (12%) in the TARN data set. Glasgow Coma Scale score, age and systolic blood pressure were the strongest predictors of mortality. Discrimination and calibration were satisfactory, with C-statistics > 0.80 in both CRASH-2 trial and TARN data sets. A simple chart was constructed to readily provide the probability of death at the point of care, while a web-based calculator is available for a more detailed risk assessment. TXA reduced all-cause mortality and death due to bleeding in each stratum of baseline risk. There was no evidence of heterogeneity in the effect of TXA on all-cause mortality (p-value for interaction = 0.96) or death due to bleeding (p= 0.98). There was a significant reduction in the odds of fatal and non-fatal thrombotic events with TXA (OR = 0.69, 95% confidence interval 0.53 to 0.89; p= 0.005). There was no evidence of heterogeneity in the effect of TXA on the risk of thrombotic events (p= 0.74).

CONCLUSIONS: This prognostic model can be used to obtain valid predictions of mortality in patients with traumatic bleeding. TXA can be administered safely to a wide spectrum of bleeding trauma patients and should not be restricted to the most severely injured. Future research should evaluate whether or not the use of this prognostic model in clinical practice has an impact on the management and outcomes of trauma patients.

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