Pre-hospital administration of tranexamic acid in trauma patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Abdulrahman M Alhenaki, Ayesha S Ali, Bryar Kadir, Zubair Ahmed

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The Clinical Randomization of an Antifibrinolytic in Significant Hemorrhage-2 (CRASH-2) trial proved that tranexamic acid (TXA) is a time-dependent drug, having a better outcome if given within 1-hour of injury. In order to test this theory, studies have been conducted to examine the effect of TXA in the pre-hospital setting. We conducted a systematic search and meta-analysis to evaluate the role of TXA administration in the civilian pre-hospital setting on patient outcomes.

Embase, Medline, CINAHL and Cochrane were searched for randomized control trials (RCTs), retrospective, and prospective studies that examined the effect of TXA on patients in the pre-hospital setting versus a control group. Outcome measures were overall mortality rate and thromboembolic events. Two authors extracted the data independently. To appraise the included studies, we used the NIH quality assessment tool for cohort and cross-sectional studies. Results are presented as Risk Ratio (RR), a random-effect model was implemented, and the I2 test was used to assess heterogeneity.

The search identified 1886 papers, but only five retrospective studies met the inclusion/exclusion criteria and were selected for further analysis. A meta-analysis confirmed that TXA reduced the overall mortality rate (pooled risk ratio of 0.74 (95% CI 0.45, 1.25)) and thromboembolic events (risk ratio of 0.71 (95% CI 0.35, 1.44)).

The pooled effects for both outcome measures favour the administration of TXA in the pre-hospital setting, although none of the findings reported a significant effect. Our study highlights the need for additional high-quality evidence to validate the significance of these findings.

Level of evidence
Level III, therapeutic study.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date27 Mar 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Mar 2021


  • Prehospital setting
  • mortality
  • thromboembolic events
  • tranexamic acid
  • trauma


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