Study of Alteplase for Respiratory Failure in SARS-CoV-2 COVID-19: A Vanguard Multicenter, Rapidly Adaptive, Pragmatic, Randomized Controlled Trial
BACKGROUND Pulmonary vascular microthrombi are a proposed mechanism of COVID-19 respiratory failure. We hypothesized that early administration of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) followed by therapeutic heparin would improve pulmonary function in these patients. RESEARCH QUESTION Does tPA improve pulmonary function in severe COVID-19 respiratory failure, and is it safe? STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS Adults with COVID-19-induced respiratory failure were randomized from May14, 2020 through March 3, 2021, in two phases. Phase 1 (n = 36) comprised a control group (standard-of-care treatment) vs a tPA bolus (50-mg tPA IV bolus followed by 7 days of heparin; goal activated partial thromboplastin time [aPTT], 60-80 s) group. Phase 2 (n = 14) comprised a control group vs a tPA drip (50-mg tPA IV bolus, followed by tPA drip 2 mg/h plus heparin 500 units/h over 24 h, then heparin to maintain aPTT of 60-80 s for 7 days) group. Patients were excluded from enrollment if they had not undergone a neurologic examination or cross-sectional brain imaging within the previous 4.5 h to rule out stroke and potential for hemorrhagic conversion. The primary outcome was Pao(2) to Fio(2) ratio improvement from baseline at 48 h after randomization. Secondary outcomes included Pao(2) to Fio(2) ratio improvement of > 50% or Pao(2) to Fio(2) ratio of ≥ 200 at 48 h (composite outcome), ventilator-free days (VFD), and mortality. RESULTS Fifty patients were randomized: 17 in the control group and 19 in the tPA bolus group in phase 1 and eight in the control group and six in the tPA drip group in phase 2. No severe bleeding events occurred. In the tPA bolus group, the Pao(2) to Fio(2) ratio values were significantly (P < .017) higher than baseline at 6 through 168 h after randomization; the control group showed no significant improvements. Among patients receiving a tPA bolus, the percent change of Pao(2) to Fio(2) ratio at 48 h (16.9% control [interquartile range (IQR), -8.3% to 36.8%] vs 29.8% tPA bolus [IQR, 4.5%-88.7%]; P = .11), the composite outcome (11.8% vs 47.4%; P = .03), VFD (0.0 [IQR, 0.0-9.0] vs 12.0 [IQR, 0.0-19.0]; P = .11), and in-hospital mortality (41.2% vs 21.1%; P = .19) did not reach statistically significant differences when compared with those of control participants. The patients who received a tPA drip did not experience benefit. INTERPRETATION The combination of tPA bolus plus heparin is safe in severe COVID-19 respiratory failure. A phase 3 study is warranted given the improvements in oxygenation and promising observations in VFD and mortality. TRIAL REGISTRY ClinicalTrials.gov; No.: NCT04357730; URL: www. CLINICALTRIALS gov.
Forgot calcium? Admission ionized-calcium in two civilian randomized controlled trials of prehospital plasma for traumatic hemorrhagic shock
J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2020;88(5):588-596
BACKGROUND Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) support the use of prehospital plasma in traumatic hemorrhagic shock, especially in long transports. The citrate added to plasma binds with calcium, yet most prehospital trauma protocols have no guidelines for calcium replacement. We reviewed the experience of two recent prehospital plasma RCTs regarding admission ionized-calcium (i-Ca) blood levels and its impact on survival. We hypothesized that prehospital plasma is associated with hypocalcemia, which in turn is associated with lower survival. METHODS We studied patients enrolled in two institutions participating in prehospital plasma RCTs (control, standard of care; experimental, plasma), with i-Ca collected before calcium supplementation. Adults with traumatic hemorrhagic shock (systolic blood pressure ≤70 mm Hg or 71-90 mm Hg + heart rate ≥108 bpm) were eligible. We use generalized linear mixed models with random intercepts and Cox proportional hazards models with robust standard errors to account for clustered data by institution. Hypocalcemia was defined as i-Ca of 1.0 mmol/L or less. RESULTS Of 160 subjects (76% men), 48% received prehospital plasma (median age, 40 years [interquartile range, 28-53 years]) and 71% suffered blunt trauma (median Injury Severity Score [ISS], 22 [interquartile range, 17-34]). Prehospital plasma and control patients were similar regarding age, sex, ISS, blunt mechanism, and brain injury. Prehospital plasma recipients had significantly higher rates of hypocalcemia compared with controls (53% vs. 36%; adjusted relative risk, 1.48; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-2.12; p = 0.03). Severe hypocalcemia was significantly associated with decreased survival (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.02-1.13; p = 0.01) and massive transfusion (adjusted relative risk, 2.70; 95% CI, 1.13-6.46; p = 0.03), after adjustment for confounders (randomization group, age, ISS, and shock index). CONCLUSION Prehospital plasma in civilian trauma is associated with hypocalcemia, which in turn predicts lower survival and massive transfusion. These data underscore the need for explicit calcium supplementation guidelines in prehospital hemotherapy. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Therapeutic, level II.
Forgot calcium? Admission ionized-calcium in two civilian randomized controlled trials of pre-hospital plasma for traumatic hemorrhagic shock
The journal of trauma and acute care surgery. 2020
BACKGROUND Randomized clinical trials(RCTs) support the use of pre-hospital plasma in traumatic hemorrhagic shock, especially in long transports. The citrate added to plasma binds with calcium, yet most pre-hospital trauma protocols have no guidelines for calcium replacement. We reviewed the experience of two recent pre-hospital plasma RCTs regarding admission ionized-calcium (i-Ca) blood levels and its impact on survival. We hypothesized that pre-hospital plasma is associated with hypocalcemia, which in turn is associated with lower survival. METHODS We studied patients enrolled in two institutions participating in pre-hospital plasma RCTs (Control=Standard-of-care; Experimental=Plasma), with i-Ca collected prior to calcium supplementation. Adults with traumatic hemorrhagic shock(SBP≤70 mmHg or 71-90mmHg+HR≥108bpm) were eligible. We use generalized linear mixed models with random intercepts and Cox proportional hazards models with robust standard errors to account for clustered data by institution. Hypocalcemia was defined as i-Ca<1.0mmol/L. RESULTS Of 160 subjects(76% men), 48% received pre-hospital plasma, median age 40years(IQR:28-53), 71% suffered blunt trauma, median ISS=22(IQR:17-34). Pre-hospital plasma and control patients were similar regarding age, sex, ISS, blunt mechanism, and brain injury. Pre-hospital plasma recipients had significantly higher rates of hypocalcemia compared to controls (53% vs 36%, Adjusted Relative Risk, aRR=1.48; 95%CI: 1.03-2.12, p=0.03). Severe hypocalcemia was significantly associated with decreased survival(Adjusted Hazard Ratio:1.07;95%CI:1.02-1.13, p=0.01) and massive transfusion(aRR= 2.70;95%CI:1.13-6.46, p=0.03), after adjustment for confounders(randomization group, age, ISS, and shock index). CONCLUSION Pre-hospital plasma in civilian trauma is associated with hypocalcemia, which in turn predicts lower survival and massive transfusion. These data underscore the need for explicit calcium supplementation guidelines in pre-hospital hemotherapy. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE
Association of Prehospital Plasma Transfusion With Survival in Trauma Patients With Hemorrhagic Shock When Transport Times Are Longer Than 20 Minutes: A Post Hoc Analysis of the PAMPer and COMBAT Clinical Trials
JAMA surgery. 2019;:e195085
Importance: Both military and civilian clinical practice guidelines include early plasma transfusion to achieve a plasma to red cell ratio approaching 1:1 to 1:2. However, it was not known how early plasma should be given for optimal benefit. Two recent randomized clinical trials were published, with apparently contradictory results. The Prehospital Air Medical Plasma (PAMPer) clinical trial showed a nearly 30% reduction in mortality with plasma transfusion in the prehospital environment, while the Control of Major Bleeding After Trauma (COMBAT) clinical trial showed no survival improvement. Objective: To facilitate a post hoc combined analysis of the COMBAT and PAMPer trials to examine questions that could not be answered by either clinical trial alone. We hypothesized that prehospital transport time influenced the effects of prehospital plasma on 28-day mortality. Design, Setting, and Participants: A total of 626 patients in the 2 clinical trials were included. Patients with trauma and hemorrhagic shock were randomly assigned to receive either standard care or 2 U of thawed plasma followed by standard care in the prehospital environment. Data analysis was performed between September 2018 and January 2019. Interventions: Prehospital transfusion of 2 U of plasma compared with crystalloid-based resuscitation. Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcome was 28-day mortality. Results: In this post hoc analysis of 626 patients (467 men [74.6%] and 159 women [25.4%]; median [interquartile range] age, 42 [27-57] years) who had trauma with hemorrhagic shock, a Cox regression analysis showed a significant overall survival benefit for plasma (hazard ratio [HR], 0.65; 95% CI, 0.47-0.90; P = .01) after adjustment for injury severity, age, and clinical trial cohort (COMBAT or PAMPer). A significant association with prehospital transport time was detected (from arrival on scene to arrival at the trauma center). Increased mortality was observed in patients in the standard care group when prehospital transport was longer than 20 minutes (HR, 2.12; 95% CI, 1.05-4.30; P = .04), while increased mortality was not observed in patients in the prehospital plasma group (HR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.40-1.51; P = .46). No serious adverse events were associated with prehospital plasma transfusion. Conclusions and Relevance: These data suggest that prehospital plasma is associated with a survival benefit when transport times are longer than 20 minutes and that the benefit-risk ratio is favorable for use of prehospital plasma. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifiers: NCT01838863 (COMBAT) and NCT01818427 (PAMPer).
Patients with trauma and hemorrhagic shock (n=626).
Plasma group: prehospital transfusion of 2 U of thawed plasma followed by standard care in the prehospital environment, (n=297).
Standard care group: crystalloid-based resuscitation, (n=329).
A Cox regression analysis showed a significant overall survival benefit for plasma (hazard ratio [HR], 0.65) after adjustment for injury severity, age, and clinical trial cohort (COMBAT or PAMPer). A significant association with prehospital transport time was detected (from arrival on scene to arrival at the trauma center). Increased mortality was observed in patients in the standard care group when prehospital transport was longer than 20 minutes (HR, 2.12), while increased mortality was not observed in patients in the prehospital plasma group (HR, 0.78). No serious adverse events were associated with prehospital plasma transfusion.
Plasma-first resuscitation to treat haemorrhagic shock during emergency ground transportation in an urban area: a randomised trial
Lancet (London, England). 2018;392((10144):):283-291. 283
BACKGROUND Plasma is integral to haemostatic resuscitation after injury, but the timing of administration remains controversial. Anticipating approval of lyophilised plasma by the US Food and Drug Administration, the US Department of Defense funded trials of prehospital plasma resuscitation. We investigated use of prehospital plasma during rapid ground rescue of patients with haemorrhagic shock before arrival at an urban level 1 trauma centre. METHODS The Control of Major Bleeding After Trauma Trial was a pragmatic, randomised, single-centre trial done at the Denver Health Medical Center (DHMC), which houses the paramedic division for Denver city. Consecutive trauma patients in haemorrhagic shock (defined as systolic blood pressure [SBP] ≤70 mm Hg or 71-90 mm Hg plus heart rate ≥108 beats per min) were assessed for eligibility at the scene of the injury by trained paramedics. Eligible patients were randomly assigned to receive plasma or normal saline (control). Randomisation was achieved by preloading all ambulances with sealed coolers at the start of each shift. Coolers were randomly assigned to groups 1:1 in blocks of 20 according to a schedule generated by the research coordinators. If the coolers contained two units of frozen plasma, they were defrosted in the ambulance and the infusion started. If the coolers contained a dummy load of frozen water, this indicated allocation to the control group and saline was infused. The primary endpoint was mortality within 28 days of injury. Analyses were done in the as-treated population and by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01838863. FINDINGS From April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2017, paramedics randomly assigned 144 patients to study groups. The as-treated analysis included 125 eligible patients, 65 received plasma and 60 received saline. Median age was 33 years (IQR 25-47) and median New Injury Severity Score was 27 (10-38). 70 (56%) patients required blood transfusions within 6 h of injury. The groups were similar at baseline and had similar transport times (plasma group median 19 min [IQR 16-23] vs control 16 min [14-22]). The groups did not differ in mortality at 28 days (15% in the plasma group vs 10% in the control group, p=0.37). In the intention-to-treat analysis, we saw no significant differences between the groups in safety outcomes and adverse events. Due to the consistent lack of differences in the analyses, the study was stopped for futility after 144 of 150 planned enrolments. INTERPRETATION During rapid ground rescue to an urban level 1 trauma centre, use of prehospital plasma was not associated with survival benefit. Blood products might be beneficial in settings with longer transport times, but the financial burden would not be justified in an urban environment with short distances to mature trauma centres. FUNDING US Department of Defense.
Goal-directed hemostatic resuscitation of trauma-induced coagulopathy: a pragmatic randomized clinical trial comparing a viscoelastic assay to conventional coagulation assays
Annals of Surgery. 2016;263((6)):1051-9.
BACKGROUND Massive transfusion protocols (MTPs) have become standard of care in the management of bleeding injured patients, yet strategies to guide them vary widely. We conducted a pragmatic, randomized clinical trial (RCT) to test the hypothesis that an MTP goal directed by the viscoelastic assay thrombelastography (TEG) improves survival compared with an MTP guided by conventional coagulation assays (CCA). METHODS This RCT enrolled injured patients from an academic level-1 trauma center meeting criteria for MTP activation. Upon MTP activation, patients were randomized to be managed either by an MTP goal directed by TEG or by CCA (ie, international normalized ratio, fibrinogen, platelet count). Primary outcome was 28-day survival. RESULTS One hundred eleven patients were included in an intent-to-treat analysis (TEG = 56, CCA = 55). Survival in the TEG group was significantly higher than the CCA group (log-rank P = 0.032, Wilcoxon P = 0.027); 20 deaths in the CCA group (36.4%) compared with 11 in the TEG group (19.6%) (P = 0.049). Most deaths occurred within the first 6 hours from arrival (21.8% CCA group vs 7.1% TEG group) (P = 0.032). CCA patients required similar number of red blood cell units as the TEG patients [CCA: 5.0 (2-11), TEG: 4.5 (2-8)] (P = 0.317), but more plasma units [CCA: 2.0 (0-4), TEG: 0.0 (0-3)] (P = 0.022), and more platelets units [CCA: 0.0 (0-1), TEG: 0.0 (0-0)] (P = 0.041) in the first 2 hours of resuscitation. CONCLUSIONS Utilization of a goal-directed, TEG-guided MTP to resuscitate severely injured patients improves survival compared with an MTP guided by CCA and utilizes less plasma and platelet transfusions during the early phase of resuscitation.
Combat: initial experience with a randomized clinical trial of plasma-based resuscitation in the field for traumatic hemorrhagic shock
Shock. 2015;44((Suppl. 1)):63-70.
The existing evidence shows great promise for plasma as the first resuscitation fluid in both civilian and military trauma. We embarked on the Control of Major Bleeding After Trauma (COMBAT) trial with the support of the Department of Defense to determine if plasma-first resuscitation yields hemostatic and survival benefits. The methodology of the COMBAT study represents not only 3 years of development work but also the integration of nearly two decades of technical experience with the design and implementation of other clinical trials and studies. Herein, we describe the key features of the study design, critical personnel and infrastructural elements, and key innovations. We will also briefly outline the systems engineering challenges entailed by this study. The COMBAT trial is a randomized, placebo-controlled, semiblinded, prospective, phase IIB clinical trial conducted in a ground ambulance fleet based at a level I trauma center and part of a multicenter collaboration. The primary objective of the COMBAT trial is to determine the efficacy of field resuscitation with plasma first compared with standard of care (normal saline). To date, we have enrolled 30 subjects in the COMBAT study. The ability to achieve intervention with a hemostatic resuscitation agent in the closest possible temporal proximity to injury is critical and represents an opportunity to forestall the evolution of the "bloody vicious cycle." Thus, the COMBAT model for deploying plasma in first-response units should serve as a model for randomized clinical trials of other hemostatic resuscitative agents.
The USA Multicenter Prehosptial Hemoglobin-based Oxygen Carrier Resuscitation Trial: scientific rationale, study design, and results
Critical Care Clinics. 2009;25((2):):325-56.
Human polymerized hemoglobin (PolyHeme) is a universally compatible oxygen carrier developed for use when red blood cells are unavailable and oxygen-carrying replacement is needed to treat life-threatening anemia. This multicenter phase III trial assessed survival of patients resuscitated with a hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier starting at the scene of injury. Patients resuscitated with PolyHeme had outcomes comparable to those receiving the standard of care including rapid access to stored red blood cells. Although there were more adverse events in the PolyHeme group compared with control patients receiving blood, the observed safety profile is acceptable for the intended population. The benefit-to-risk ratio of PolyHeme is favorable when blood is needed but is not available or an option.
Hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers in trauma care: scientific rationale for the US multicenter prehosptial trial
World Journal of Surgery. 2006;30((7):):1247-57.
BACKGROUND The greatest need for blood substitutes worldwide is in patients with unanticipated acute blood loss, and trauma is the most likely scenario. The blood substitutes reaching advanced clinical trials today are red blood cell (RBC) substitutes derived from hemoglobin. The hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers (HBOCs) tested currently in advanced clinical trials are polymerized hemoglobin solutions. METHODS In the USA, the standard approach to restoring oxygen delivery for hemorrhagic shock has been crystalloid administration to expand intravascular volume, followed by stored RBCs for critical anemia. Allogeneic RBCs, however, may have adverse immunoinflammatory effects that increase the risk of postinjury multiple organ failure (MOF). Phase II in hospital clinical trials, as well as in vitro and in vivo work, suggest that resuscitation with an HBOC--in lieu of stored RBCs--attenuates the systemic inflammatory response invoked in the pathogenesis of MOF. Specifically, an HBOC has been shown to obviate stored RBC-provoked polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) priming, endothelial activation, and systemic release of interleukins (IL) 6, 8, and 10. In a 2-event rodent study of shock-induced PMN-mediated acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), the simulated prehospital administration of an HBOC markedly attenuated lung injury. RESULTS Based on this background and work by others, we have initiated a US multicenter prehospital trial in which severely injured patients with major blood loss [systolic blood pressure (SBP) CONCLUSIONS To date, >500 injured patients have been enrolled in this multicenter trial, and the final interim analyses support the original target of 720.