Protocol adherence when managing massive bleeding following complex cardiac surgery: A study design pilot

Philip E Greilich, Emmanuel Edson, Lindsey Rutland, Michael E Jessen, Nigel S. Key, Jerrold H. Levy, Nauder Faraday, Marie E. Steiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective High-quality prospective trials of hemostatic "rescue" therapy to control massive bleeding in cardiac surgery are lacking. Wide variability in the care of patients with severe bleeding following cardiopulmonary bypass has precluded accurate comparison of treatment groups in previous studies. This study identified the use of a management protocol for early identification and uniform treatment of patients with massive bleeding for application in future trials of hemostatic rescue agents. Design A prospective, nonblinded, interventional feasibility study. Setting A university teaching hospital. Participants Forty-three adult patients undergoing complex cardiac surgery. Interventions Study participants undergoing high-risk cardiac surgery received standardized treatment in accordance with a bleeding management protocol. Measurements and Main Results Twenty-seven patients (63%) had severe bleeding following heparin reversal and received conventional hemostatic resuscitation per protocol. Six patients had massive refractory bleeding. Compliance with protocol tasks wasge;90% in 4 of 5 categories (anticoagulation, hemostasis scoring, recording blood loss, protocol transfusion) with the exception being submission of laboratory samples (76%). Measured bleeding rates (mL/h) following heparin reversal were clearly differentiated in those with hemostasis scores3 compared to those with scores le2 (1,420957 v 147;plusmn p 0.001). Conclusions Adherence to a management protocol for massive bleeding is feasible and allows for homogenous treatment of patients before study arm randomization in future "rescue" therapy trials. The authors' protocol allowed for prompt and accurate identification of patients with severe bleeding refractory to conventional therapy. This review resolved several key barriers in the design of severe bleeding management trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-310
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • cardiac surgery
  • cardiopulmonary bypass
  • coagulation
  • hemorrhage
  • transfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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