Background: The role of vasopressors in trauma-related haemorrhagic shock (HS) remains a matter of debate. They are part of the most recent European recommendations on the management of HS and are regularly used in France. We assessed the effect of early administration of noradrenaline in 24 h mortality of trauma patients in HS, using a propensity-score analysis.
Methods: The study included patients from a multicentre prospective regional trauma registry. HS was defined as transfusion of ≥4 erythrocyte-concentrate units during the first 6 h. Patients with a Glasgow coma scale=3 and pre-hospital traumatic cardiac arrest were excluded. The main outcome measure was in-hospital mortality. The explicative and adjustment variables for the outcome and treatment allocation were predetermined by a Delphi method. The in-hospital mortality of patients with and without early administration of noradrenaline was compared in a propensity-score model, including all predetermined variables.
Results: Of 7141 patients in the registry in the study period, 6353 were screened and 518 patients in HS (201 with early noradrenaline use and 317 without) were included and analysed. After propensity-score matching, 100 patients remained in each group, and the hazard-ratio mortality was 0.95 (95% confidence interval: 0.45-2.01; P=0.69).
Conclusions: The results of the present study suggest that noradrenaline use in the early phase of traumatic HS does not seem to affect mortality adversely. This observation supports a rationale for equipoise in favour of a prospective trial of the use of vasopressors in HS after trauma.
Keywords: noradrenaline; propensity score; shock; trauma.
Copyright © 2018 British Journal of Anaesthesia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.