Giving trauma patients with severe blood loss the hormone arginine vasopressin (AVP) cut the volume of blood products required to stabilize them by half, according to results of a new, first-of-its-kind clinical trial from Penn Medicine. The finding, published online in JAMA Surgery, suggests that administering AVP to trauma patients with severe bleeding could become standard practice in trauma care, reducing the use of blood products and their adverse side effects. The authors say the study is particularly important for the treatment of patients with gun-related injuries. Each year, there are more than 100,000 firearm-related injuries with upwards of 36,000 deaths.
“Unintentional traumatic injuries are the leading cause of death in the United States for people younger than 45, and the injuries often involve severe blood loss. We can replace a patient’s lost blood with blood products such as packed red blood cells, fresh frozen plasma, and platelets, but use of these options can lead to serious complications and they may not fully replace key molecules in blood that are needed to support blood pressure and the normal function of vital organs,” says Carrie A. Sims, an associate professor of surgery and laboratory director of the Penn Acute Research Collaboration. “The results of this trial suggest a promising way to reduce the amount of blood needed to save the lives of patients with life-threatening injuries.”
Read more at Penn Medicine News.