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Concept: Blood products



Non-healing ulcers are a major health problem worldwide and have great impact at personal, professional and social levels, with high cost in terms of human and material resources. Recalcitrant non-healing ulcers are inevitable and detrimental to the lower limb and are a major cause of non-traumatic lower limb amputations. Application of autologous Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has been a major breakthrough for the treatment of non-healing and diabetic foot ulcers, as it is an easy and cost-effective method, and provides the necessary growth factors that enhance tissue healing. PRP is a conglomeration of thrombocytes, cytokines and various growth factors which are secreted by α-granules of platelets that augment the rate of natural healing process with decrease in time. The purpose of this case series was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of autologous platelet rich plasma for the treatment of chronic non-healing ulcers on the lower extremity.

Concepts: Blood products, Cell biology, Serotonin, Limb, Diabetic foot, Platelet, Wound healing, Blood


Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an autologous concentration of human platelets contained in a small volume of plasma and has recently been shown to accelerate rejuvenate aging skin by various growth factors and cell adhesion molecules.

Concepts: Blood products


Life-threatening warfarin-associated hemorrhage is common, with a high mortality. In the United States, the most commonly used therapies-fresh frozen plasma and vitamin K-are slow and unpredictable and can result in volume overload. Outside of the United States, prothrombin complex concentrates are often used instead; these pooled plasma products reverse warfarin anticoagulation in minutes rather than hours. This article reviews the literature relating to warfarin reversal with fresh frozen plasma, prothrombin complex concentrates, and recombinant factor VIIa and provides elements for a management protocol based on this literature.

Concepts: Vitamin K, Heparin, Blood products, Factor VII, United States, Fresh frozen plasma, Coagulation, Warfarin


Coagulopathy is a common complication after severe trauma. The efficacy of 4-factor Prothrombin Complex Concentrate (4-PCC) as an adjunct to FFP in reversal of coagulopathy of trauma has not been studied. The aim of our study is to compare 4-PCC+FFP vs. FPP alone for the treatment of COT.

Concepts: Blood products, Cultural studies, Prothrombin complex concentrate, Coagulation system, Warfarin


Prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC) is used for reversal of vitamin K antagonists (VKA) in patients with bleeding complications. This study aims to assess benefits and harms of 4-factor PCC compared to fresh frozen plasma (FFP) or no treatment in VKA associated bleeding. PubMed, EMBASE and CENTRAL were searched from 1945 to August 2015. Studies reporting 4-factor PCC use for VKA associated bleeding and providing data on INR normalization, mortality or thromboembolic (TE) complications were eligible. Two authors screened titles and full articles for inclusion, extracted data, and assessed risk of bias. Mortality data were pooled using Mantel-Haenszel random effects meta-analysis. Nineteen studies were included (N = 2878); 18 cohort studies and one RCT. Six studies had good methodological quality, 9 moderate and 4 poor. Baseline INR values ranged from 2.2 to >20. The INR within 1 h after PCC administration ranged from 1.4 to 1.9, and after FFP administration from 2.2 to 12. PCC reduced the time to reach INR correction in comparison with FFP or no treatment. The observed mortality rate ranged from 0 to 43% (mean 17%) in the PCC, 4.8-54% (mean 16%) in the FFP and 23-69% (mean 51%) in the no treatment group. Meta-analysis of mortality data resulted in an OR of 0.64 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.27-1.5) for PCC versus FFP and an OR 0.41 (95% CI 0.13-1.3) for PCC versus no treatment. TE complications were observed in 0-18% (mean 2.5%) of PCC and in 6.4% of FFP recipients. Four-factor PCC is an effective and safe option in reversal of VKA bleeding events.

Concepts: Medical statistics, Actuarial science, Coagulation, Prothrombin time, Epidemiology, Blood products, Fresh frozen plasma, Warfarin


Coagulopathy and severe bleeding are associated with high mortality. We evaluated haemostatic treatment guided by the functional viscoelastic haemostatic assays, thromboelastography or rotational thromboelastometry in bleeding patients. We searched for randomised, controlled trials irrespective of publication status, publication date, blinding status, outcomes published or language from date of inception to 5 January 2016 in six bibliographic databases. We included 17 trials (1493 participants), most involving cardiac surgery. Thromboelastography or rotational thromboelastometry seemed to reduce overall mortality compared to any of our comparisons (3.9% vs. 7.4%, RR (95% CI) 0.52 (0.28-0.95); I(2) = 0%, 8 trials, 717 participants). However, the quality of evidence is graded as low due to the high risk of bias, heterogeneity, imprecision and low event rate. Thromboelastography or rotational thromboelastometry significantly reduced the proportion of patients transfused with red blood cells (RR (95% CI) 0.86 (0.79-0.94); I(2) = 0%, 10 trials, 832 participants), fresh frozen plasma (RR (95% CI) 0.57 (0.33-0.96); I(2) = 86%, 10 trials, 832 participants) and platelets (RR (95% CI) 0.73 (0.60-0.88); I(2) = 0%, 10 studies, 832 participants). There was no difference in proportion needing surgical re-interventions (RR (95% CI) 0.75 (0.50-1.10); I(2) = 0%, 9 trials, 887 participants). Trial sequential analysis of mortality suggests that only 54% of the required information size has been reached so far. Transfusion strategies guided by thromboelastography or rotational thromboelastometry may reduce the need for blood products in patients with bleeding, but the results are mainly based on trials of elective cardiac surgery involving cardiopulmonary bypass, with low-quality evidence.

Concepts: Blood products, Fresh frozen plasma, Blood plasma, Hemostasis, Blood transfusion, Coagulation, Red blood cell, Blood


Urgent reversal of warfarin is required for patients who experience major bleeding or require urgent surgery. Treatment options include the combination of vitamin K and coagulation factor replacement with either prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC) or fresh frozen plasma (FFP). However, the optimal reversal strategy is unclear based on clinically relevant outcomes. We searched in MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane library to December 2015. Thirteen studies (5 randomised studies and 8 observational studies) were included. PCC use was associated with a significant reduction in all-cause mortality compared to FFP (OR= 0.56, 95 % CI; 0.37-0.84, p=0.006). A higher proportion of patients receiving PCC achieved haemostasis compared to those receiving FFP, but this was not statistically significant (OR 2.00, 95 % CI; 0.85-4.68). PCC use was more likely to achieve normalisation of international normalised ratio (INR) (OR 10.80, 95 % CI; 6.12-19.07) and resulted in a shorter time to INR correction (mean difference -6.50 hours, 95 %CI; -9.75 to -3.24). Red blood cell transfusion was not statistically different between the two groups (OR 0.88, 95 % CI: 0.53-1.43). Patients receiving PCC had a lower risk of post-transfusion volume overload compared to FFP (OR 0.27, 95 % CI; 0.13-0.58). There was no statistically significant difference in the risk of thromboembolism following administration of PCC or FFP (OR 0.91, 95 % CI; 0.44-1.89). In conclusion, as compared to FFP, the use of PCC for warfarin reversal was associated with a significant reduction in all-cause mortality, more rapid INR reduction, and less volume overload without an increased risk of thromboembolic events.

Concepts: Blood products, Platelet, Statistical significance, Prothrombin time, Blood, Fresh frozen plasma, Coagulation, Warfarin


Reversal of anticoagulation-induced bleeding in the perioperative period can be challenging, particularly with an unstable patient with a mechanical valve. We present a case of life-threatening bleeding successfully managed with a prothrombin complex concentrate as an alternative to fresh frozen plasma.

Concepts: Cryoprecipitate, Coagulation system, Artificial heart valve, Coagulation, Fresh frozen plasma, Aortic valve, Blood products, Warfarin


Prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC) is used as an alternative to fresh frozen plasma (FFP) for emergency bleeding. The primary objective of this study was to compare the time from order to start of administration between 3-factor PCC (PCC3), 4-factor (PCC4), and FFP in the emergency department (ED). The secondary objective was to evaluate the effect of an ED pharmacist on time to administration of PCCs.

Concepts: Gymnasium, Management, Cryoprecipitate, Coagulation system, Coagulation, Blood products, Fresh frozen plasma, Warfarin