BACKGROUND: Fibrinogen is the first coagulation factor to decrease after massive hemorrhage. European massive transfusion guidelines recommend early repletion of fibrinogen; however, this practice has not been widely adopted in the US. We hypothesize that hypofibrinogenemia is common at hospital arrival and is an integral component of trauma-induced coagulopathy. STUDY DESIGN: This study entailed review of a prospective observational database of adults meeting the highest-level activation criteria at an urban level 1 trauma center from 2014 through 2020. Resuscitation was initiated with 2:1 red blood cell (RBC) to fresh frozen plasma (FFP) ratios and continued subsequently with goal-directed thrombelastography. Hypofibrinogenemia was defined as fibrinogen below 150 mg/dL. Massive transfusion (MT) was defined as more than 10 units RBC or death after receiving at least 1 unit RBC over the first 6 hours of admission. RESULTS: Of 476 trauma activation patients, 70 (15%) were hypofibrinogenemic on admission, median age was 34 years, 78% were male, median New Injury Severity Score (NISS) was 25, and 72 patients died (15%). Admission fibrinogen level was an independent risk factor for MT (odds ratio [OR] 0.991, 95% CI 0.987-0.996]. After controlling for confounders, NISS (OR 1.034, 95% CI 1.017-1.052), systolic blood pressure (OR 0.991, 95% CI 0.983-0.998), thrombelastography angle (OR 0.925, 95% CI 0.896-0.954), and hyperfibrinolysis (OR 2.530, 95% CI 1.160-5.517) were associated with hypofibrinogenemia. Early cryoprecipitate administration resulted in the fastest correction of hypofibrinogenemia. CONCLUSION: Hypofibrinogenemia is common after severe injury and predicts MT. Cryoprecipitate transfusion results in the most expeditious correction. Earlier administration of cryoprecipitate should be considered in MT protocols.
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