Single dose of tranexamic acid effectively reduces blood loss and transfusion rates in elderly patients undergoing surgery for hip fracture: a randomized controlled trial

Bone Joint J. 2021 Mar;103-B(3):442-448. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.103B3.BJJ-2020-1288.R1.


Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate the hypothesis that a single dose of tranexamic acid (TXA) would reduce blood loss and transfusion rates in elderly patients undergoing surgery for a subcapital or intertrochanteric (IT) fracture of the hip.

Methods: In this single-centre, randomized controlled trial, elderly patients undergoing surgery for a hip fracture, either hemiarthroplasty for a subcapital fracture or intramedullary nailing for an IT fracture, were screened for inclusion. Patients were randomly allocated to a study group using a sealed envelope. The TXA group consisted of 77 patients, (35 with a subcapital fracture and 42 with an IT fracture), and the control group consisted of 88 patients (29 with a subcapital fracture and 59 with an IT fracture). One dose of 15 mg/kg of intravenous (IV) TXA diluted in 100 ml normal saline (NS,) or one dose of IV placebo 100 ml NS were administered before the incision was made. The haemoglobin (Hb) concentration was measured before surgery and daily until the fourth postoperative day. The primary outcomes were the total blood loss and the rate of transfusion from the time of surgery to the fourth postoperative day.

Results: Homogeneity with respect to baseline characteristics was ensured between groups. The mean total blood loss was significantly lower in patients who received TXA (902.4 ml (-279.9 to 2,156.9) vs 1,226.3 ml (-269.7 to 3,429.7); p = 0.003), while the likelihood of requiring a transfusion of at least one unit of red blood cells was reduced by 22%. Subgroup analysis showed that these differences were larger in patients who had an IT fracture compared with those who had a subcapital fracture.

Conclusion: Elderly patients who undergo intramedullary nailing for an IT fracture can benefit from a single dose of 15 mg/kg TXA before the onset of surgery. A similar tendency was identified in patients undergoing hemiarthroplasty for a subcapital fracture but not to a statistically significant level. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2021;103-B(3):442-448.

Keywords: Blood loss; Femoral neck; Hip fractures; Intertrochanteric; Tranexamic acid; Transfusion.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antifibrinolytic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Blood Loss, Surgical / prevention & control*
  • Blood Transfusion / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Fracture Fixation / methods
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Hip Fractures / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tranexamic Acid / administration & dosage*


  • Antifibrinolytic Agents
  • Hemoglobins
  • Tranexamic Acid