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Cost of the Defence Medical Services Patient Group Directive for a 10-minute tranexamic acid (TXA) infusion in trauma: a bolus is safe and saves lives


Tranexamic acid (TXA) is a life-saving drug that reduces the risk of death from haemorrhage. Intervention is time critical with benefit decreasing with delayed administration. The current Joint Service Publication Patient Group Directive (PGD) for giving TXA during the tactical field care phase of the operational patient care pathway specifies it is given over 10 min via intravenous infusion based on TXA’s Summary of Product Characteristics. This paper aims to explore the risks of administering TXA as a bolus rather than a 10-minute infusion. There is little evidence to support the risk of quoted adverse events from bolus administration of TXA, good-quality evidence for the mortality benefit of early administration and some evidence that bolus dosing is safe. The Defence Medical Service should consider a default PGD of rapid TXA administration to maximise mortality benefit.

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