Viscoelastic guidance of resuscitation

Jakob Stensballe, Sisse R Ostrowski, Pär I Johansson
Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology 2014, 27 (2): 212-8

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Bleeding in trauma carries a high mortality and is increased in case of coagulopathy. Our understanding of hemostasis and coagulopathy has improved, leading to a change in the protocols for hemostatic monitoring. This review describes the current state of evidence supporting the use of viscoelastic hemostatic assays to guide trauma resuscitation.

RECENT FINDINGS: Viscoelastic hemostatic assays such as thrombelastography and rotational thrombelastometry have shown to reduce bleeding, transfusion of fresh frozen plasma and platelets, and possibly mortality in different surgical populations. In trauma care, viscoelastic hemostatic assays allows for rapid and timely identification of coagulopathy and individualized, goal-directed transfusion therapy. As part of the resuscitation concept, viscoelastic hemostatic assays seem to improve outcome also in trauma; however, there is a need for randomized clinical trials to confirm this.

SUMMARY: We are moving toward avoiding coagulopathy by individualized, goal-directed transfusion therapy, using viscoelastic hemostatic assays to guide ongoing resuscitation of actively bleeding patients in a goal-directed manner.

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