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 to E (with A being the highest) according to the strength of evidence
available. Consensus was sought among the committee members for each recommendation. Results: A recommendation for the 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 after cardiac surgery (grade D). r FVIIa could not be recommended for use in the following: 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. Conclusion: There is a rationale for using rFVIIa to treat massive bleeding in certain indications, but 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.