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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574

Abstract

MCCAUL, M  and  KREDO, T. Antifibrinolytic drugs for acute traumatic injury. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2016, vol.106, n.8, pp.777-778. ISSN 2078-5135.  http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/samj.2016.v106i8.11042.

In South Africa, trauma is a major concern, with violence and road traffic accidents being the fifth and seventh leading causes of death, respectively. Antifibrinolytic agents have been used in trauma and major surgery to prevent fibrinolysis and reduce blood loss. We highlight an updated Cochrane review investigating the effect of antifibrinolytic drugs in patients with acute traumatic injury. The review authors conducted comprehensive literature searches in January 2015 with regard to all randomised controlled trials comparing antifibrinolytic agents after acute traumatic injury. Three randomised controlled trials, of which two (n=20 451) assessed the effect of tranexamic acid (TXA), were included. The authors concluded that TXA safely reduces mortality in trauma with bleeding without increasing the risk of adverse events. TXA should be administered as early as possible, and within 3 hours of injury. There is still uncertainty with regard to the effect of TXA on patients with traumatic brain injury; however, ongoing randomised controlled trials should shed more light on this.

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