INTRODUCTION: Our aim was to develop consensus guidelines for use of recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) in massive hemorrhage. METHODS: A guidelines committee derived the recommendations using clinical trial and case series data identified through searches of available databases. Guidelines were graded on a scale of A-E according to the strength of evidence available. Consensus was sought among the committee for each recommendation. RESULTS: A recommendation for use of rFVIIa in blunt trauma was made (grade B). rFVIIa might also be beneficial in post-partum hemorrhage (grade E), uncontrolled bleeding in surgical patients (grade E) and bleeding following cardiac surgery (grade D). rFVIIa could not be recommended for use: in penetrating trauma (grade B); prophylactically in elective surgery (grade A) or liver surgery (grade B); or in bleeding episodes in patients with Child-Pugh A cirrhosis (grade B). Efficacy of rFVIIa was considered uncertain in bleeding episodes in patients with Child-Pugh B and C cirrhosis (grade C). Monitoring of rFVIIa efficacy should be performed visually and by assessment of transfusion requirements (grade E), while thromboembolic adverse events are a cause for concern. rFVIIa should not be administered to patients considered unsalvageable by the treating medical team. CONCLUSIONS: There is a rationale for using rFVIIa to treat massive bleeding in certain indications; however, only adjunctively to the surgical control of bleeding once conventional therapies have failed. Lack of data from randomized, controlled clinical trials, and possible publication bias of the case series data, limits the strength of the recommendations that can be made.
Editorial: Crit Care
Vincent JL, Rossaint R, Riou B, Ozier Y, Zideman D, Spahn DR.
Department of Intensive Care, Erasme Hospital, Free University of Brussels, B-1070 Brussels, Belgium. firstname.lastname@example.org