Despite increasing use of antiplatelet agents (APA), little is known regarding the effect of these agents on the orthopedic trauma patient. This study reviews clinical outcomes of patients with pelvic fractures (Pfx) who were using pre-injury APA. Specifically, we focused on the influence of APA on postinjury bleeding, transfusions, and outcomes after Pfx.
Patients with Pfx admitted during a 37-month period beginning January 2006 were divided into APA and non-APA groups. Pelvic injuries were graded using pelvic fracture severity score (PFSS)–a combination of Young–Burgess (pelvic ring), Letournel–Judet (acetabular), and Denis (sacral fracture) classifications. Other clinical data included demographics, co-morbid conditions, medications, injury severity score (ISS), associated injuries, morbidity/mortality, hemoglobin trends, blood product use, imaging studies, procedures, and resource utilization. Multivariate analyses for predictors of early/late transfusions, pelvic surgery, and mortality were performed.
A total of 109 patients >45 years with Pfx were identified, with 37 using preinjury APA (29 on aspirin [ASA], 8 on clopidogrel, 5 on high-dose/scheduled non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents [NSAID], and 8 using >1 APAs). Patients in the APA groups were older than patients in the non-APA group (70 vs. 63 years, P < 0.01). The two groups were similar in gender distribution, PFSS and ISS. Patients in the APA group had more comorbidities, lower hemoglobin levels at 24 h, and received more packed red blood cell (PRBC) transfusions during the first 24 h of hospitalization (all, P < 0.05). There were no differences in platelet or late (>24 h) PRBC transfusions, blood loss/transfusions during pelvic surgery, lengths of stay, post-ED/discharge disposition, or mortality. In multivariate analysis, predictors of early PRBC transfusion included higher ISS/PFSS, pre-injury ASA use, and lower admission hemoglobin (all, P < 0.03). Predictors of late PRBC transfusion included the number of complications, gender, PFSS, and any APA use (all, P < 0.05). Mortality was associated with pelvic hematoma/contrast extravasation on imaging, number of complications, and higher PFSS/ISS (all, P < 0.04).
Results of this study support the contention that preinjury use of APA does not independently affect morbidity or mortality in trauma patients with Pfx. Despite no clinically significant difference in early postinjury blood loss, pre-injury use of APA was associated with increased likelihood of receiving PRBC transfusion within 24 h of admission. Furthermore, multivariate analyses demonstrated that among different APA, only preinjury ASA (vs. clopidogrel or NSAID) was associated with early PRBC transfusions. Late transfusion was associated with the use of any APA, complications, higher PFSS, and need for pelvic surgery.