Anticoagulated patients are common and the amount of available oral anticoagulants is becoming more diverse and confusing. Anticoagulation is the cornerstone in the treatment of thrombosis and thromboembolic complications in a variety of diseases. Lixiana, Pradaxa, Eliquis and Xarelto are some of these pretty-sounding drugs that many doctors know but find difficult to keep up.
So if you work in an emergency room, anesthesia or intensive care, there's a good chance you will be facing an anticoagulant patient with a potentially critical bleeding that could require urgent treatment... And this leaves you with the following questions:
- What is a critical bleed (apart from obvious massive bleeding)? Does this bleeding need imminent reversal?
- Do I need any laboratory testing before?
- What treatment should I actually give the patient?
If you do not have a guideline in your institution, it may be time to create one, and the following publication is indeed very useful for this purpose!
The 2017 ACC Expert Consensus Decision Pathway on Management of Bleeding in Patients on Oral Anticoagulants very nicely summarises current evidence and expert opinion on these issues. But the very best are their excellent figures, providing all the answers you need: simple and very understandable!
What is a Critical Bleeding?
|Acute Exacerbations in Patients with IPF,Kim Respiratory Research 2013, 14:86|
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The authors look at this topic point for point and review current literature in an easy to understand sort of manor. They define major blood loss when it leads to a heart rte of >110/Min or a systolic blood pressure of less than 90mmHg, or simply said: when bleeding becomes haemodynamic relevant. In general it is recommended to have a major haemorrhage protocol at hand (1D) and all staff should be trained to recognise major blood loss early (1D).
Here's a summary of the recommendations made by the British Committee for Standards in Haematology (BCSH):
In Major Haemorrhage....
Red Blood Cells RBC
- Hospitals must be prepared to provide emergency Group 0 red cells and group specific red cells (1C)
- Patients must have correctly labelled samples taken before administration of emergency Group 0 blood (1C)
- There is NO indication to request 'fresh' or 'young' red cells (under 7d of storage, 2B)
- Note: The optimum target haemoglobin concentration (Hb) in this clinical setting in general is NOT established. Current literature shows a tendency towards restriction towards 70-90g/L, but the BCSH makes no recommendations therefore (see blow)
Cell Salvage (e.g. cell saver)
- 24h access to cell salvage should be available in cardiac, obstetric, trauma and vascular centres (2b)
- Use haemostatic tests regularly during haemorrhage, every 30-60min, depending on severity of blood loss (1C)
- Measure platelet count, PT, aPTT (1C)
- Note: The BCSG does not recommend TEG and ROTEM at this stage
Fresh Frozen Plasma FFP
- Use FFP in a 1:2 ratio with RBC initially (2C)
- Once bleeding is under control administer FFP when PT and/or aPTT is >1.5 times normal (recommended dose 15-20ml/kg, 2C)
- The use of FFP should not delay fibrinogen supplementation if necessary (2C)
- Supplement fibrinogen when levels fall below 1.5g/L
Prothrombin Complex Concentrates PCC
- Do not use PCC
- Keep the platelet count >50 x 10^9/L (1B)
- If bleeding persists give platelets if count falls below 100 x 10^9/L (2C)
Tranexamic Acid TA
- Give tranexamic acid as soon as possible to patients with, or at risk of major haemorrhage (Recommended dose: 1g IV over 10min, followed by 1g IV over 8h, 1A)
- Note: TA has no known adverse effects
- Note: Aprotinin is not recommended
Recombinant Activated Factor VIIa (Novo Seven)
- Do not use
Specific Clinical Situations
- Fibrinogen levels increase during pregnancy to 4-6g/L
- In major obstetric haemorrhage fibrinogen should be given when levels are <2.0g/L (1B)
- Use restrictive strategy for RBC transfusion is recommended in most patients (1A)
- Transfuse adult trauma patients empirically with a 1:1 ratio of FFP : RBC (1B)
- Consider early use of platelets (1B)
- Give tranexamic acid as soon as possible (Dose 1g over 10min and then 1g over 8h, 1A)
Prevention of Bleeding in High-Risk Surgery
- Use tranexamic acid (Dose 1g over 10min and then 1g over 8h, 1B)
Hunt B et al. British J Haemat, July 6 2015
Read more HERE:
Great Review on Transfusion, Thrombosis and Bleeding Management
Restricitve Transfusion Threshold in Sepsis, the TRISS Trial
Transfusion: Harmful for Patients Undergoing PCI?
These guidelines outline the nature and properties of biofilms and and their implications on mostly chronic infections caused. As biofilms are very common in critically ill patients it is important to know what specific problems you might encounter, how to proceed and perform a proper diagnosis and what are the essential bits and pieces in the prevention and treatment of biofilm infections.
The article is OPEN ACCESS: Clin Microbiol Infect. 2015 Jan 14. pii: S1198-743X(14)00090-1.
ARISE and ProCESS had been published before (read here) and both of them showed no difference between EGDT and 'usual care'.
ProMISe included 1251 patients with severe sepsis or septic shock that were admitted to a total 56 hospitals in the UK. Again classical EGDT with measurement of continuous central venous oxygenation was compared to so called 'usual treatment'. It's remarkable to notice that in the 'usual treatment' group about half of the patient didn't get a central line and central venous oxygenation wasn't even measured in the ones who got one. And here's the result:
There was no difference in 90-day mortality and no differences in secondary outcomes. In contrast EGDT actually increased costs.
It has become difficult to ignore these three trials!
Our conclusion: The classical EGDT therapy has ended here and now... but EGDT will keep its central role in the treatment of septic patients!
- Identify septic patient quickly, start screening for patients if indicated
- Administer antibiotics within the first our of recognition of sepsis
- Start IV-fluid therapy immediately
- Take (blood) cultures as quick as possible, but do not delay antibiotic treatment
- Aim for a reasonable mean arterial pressure (e.g. 65mmHg)
- Aim for a sufficient urinary output (0.5ml/h)
- Central venous pressure (CVP) certainly and most probably central venous oxygenation (ScvO2) are not parameters to measure fluid responsiveness
- Lactate remains an issue of debate
- Simple: Whatever the physician feels is best!
ProMISe Trial, Mouncey et al. N Engl J Med. 2015 Mar 17.
BIJC Review on ARISE and ProCESS
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