Trending: More EMS agencies administering TXA

Tranexamic acid has been used in trauma centers for years, and the drug is making its way into the prehospital setting

Tranexamic acid or TXA, known for its use to treat wounded soldiers with severe bleeding, prevents the breakdown of clots and helps slow bleeding, often improving a patient’s outcome of survival after a traumatic injury.

It’s been administered inside trauma centers for years, and research conducted on prehospital use shows it’s highly effective in stabilizing patients before they arrive to the ER. The drug is slowly making its way into EMS.

Here’s a look at some departments from across the country that within the last two years have started using TXA to treat patients with traumatic injuries.

1. 2 Wis. EMS services authorized to administer TXA

Tri-State Ambulance added TXA to its protocols in December 2013, and Milwaukee County EMS in September 2014.

“We want to be on the cutting edge of the most appropriate care, and medicine is a rapidly evolving specialty, and especially in EMS right now there's a lot of changes going on,” said medical director Dr. Chris Eberlein to WEAU.

2. TXA use approved for N.C. critical care transport program

AirLink VitaLink was authorized to administer TXA to patients with severe bleeding while en route to the New Hanover Medical Center in December, 2014.

"Being able to take this drug [TXA] to the bedside and administer it there on scene to get the trauma center and ICU level care started earlier, the better off the patient outcomes are," an agency spokesperson said.

In addition to stocking TXA on the critical care helicopters and ambulances, the New Hanover Regional Medical Center is working on approval to stock county EMS ambulances with TXA. 

3. Minn. air ambulance uses TXA as standard protocol

Mayo One medical helicopters have had TXA on board since 2012. It was also been adopted by the Mayo Clinic Hospital — Saint Marys Campus emergency department, in 2012 as standard protocol.

4. Ohio medics believe new drug will save lives during longer EMS trips

Tranexamic acid was used at a crash scene in Ohio for the first time in 2013. Based on studies that have shown low risk and strong benefits, Dr. Howard Mell, Newark fire department’s medical director, anticipated other agencies, especially those in rural communities without a hospital nearby, would create protocols to use TXA at trauma scenes.

Is your agency using or considering TXA? If yes, share the link to local news coverage with EMS1 readers in the comments.

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