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Tranexamic Acid for Traumatic Injury in the Emergency Setting: A Systematic Review and Bias-Adjusted Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.

STUDY OBJECTIVE: Traumatic injury causes a significant number of deaths due to bleeding. Tranexamic acid (TXA), an antifibrinolytic agent, can reduce bleeding in traumatic injuries and potentially enhance outcomes. Previous reviews suggested potential TXA benefits but did not consider the latest trials.

METHODS: A systematic review and bias-adjusted meta-analysis were performed to assess TXA's effectiveness in emergency traumatic injury settings by pooling estimates from randomized controlled trials. Researchers searched Medline, Embase, and Cochrane Central for randomized controlled trials comparing TXA's effects to a placebo in emergency trauma cases. The primary endpoint was 1-month mortality. The methodological quality of the trials underwent assessment using the MASTER scale, and the meta-analysis applied the quality-effects method to adjust for methodological quality.

RESULTS: Seven randomized controlled trials met the set criteria. This meta-analysis indicated an 11% decrease in the death risk at 1 month after TXA use (odds ratio [OR] 0.89, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.84 to 0.95) with a number needed to treat of 61 to avoid 1 additional death. The meta-analysis also revealed reduced 24-hour mortality (OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.65 to 0.88) for TXA. No compelling evidence of increased vascular occlusive events emerged (OR 0.96, 95% CI 0.73 to 1.27). Subgroup analyses highlighted TXA's effectiveness in general trauma versus traumatic brain injury and survival advantages when administered out-of-hospital versus inhospital.

CONCLUSIONS: This synthesis demonstrates that TXA use for trauma in emergencies leads to a reduction in 1-month mortality, with no significant evidence of problematic vascular occlusive events. Administering TXA in the out-of-hospital setting is associated with reduced mortality compared to inhospital administration, and less mortality with TXA in systemic trauma is noted compared with traumatic brain injury specifically.

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