Lactate as a Mediator of Prehospital Plasma Mortality Reduction in Hemorrhagic Shock

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Conference Proceeding

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Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery


BACKGROUND Prehospital plasma transfusion in trauma reduces mortality. However, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Reduction in shock severity may play a role. Lactate correlates with physiologic shock severity and mortality after injury. Our objective was to determine if prehospital plasma reduces lactate and if this contributes to the mortality benefit of plasma. METHODS Patients in the Prehospital Air Medical Plasma trial in the upper quartile of injury severity (Injury Severity Score, >30) were included to capture severe shock. Trial patients were randomized to prehospital plasma or standard care resuscitation (crystalloid ± packed red blood cells). Regression determined the associations between admission lactate, 30-day mortality, and plasma while adjusting for demographics, prehospital crystalloid, time, mechanism, and injury characteristics. Causal mediation analysis determined what proportion of the effect of plasma on mortality is mediated by lactate reduction. RESULTS A total of 125 patients were included. The plasma group had a lower adjusted admission lactate than standard of care group (coefficient,-1.64; 95% confidence interval [CI],-2.96 to-0.31; p = 0.02). Plasma was associated with lower odds of 30-day mortality (odds ratio [OR], 0.27; 95% CI, 0.08-0.90; p = 0.03). When adding lactate to this model, the effect of plasma on 30-day mortality was no longer significant (OR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.07-1.88; p = 0.23), while lactate was associated with mortality (OR, 1.74 per 1 mmol/L increase; 95% CI, 1.10-2.73; p = 0.01). Causal mediation demonstrated 35.1% of the total effect of plasma on 30-day mortality was mediated by the reduction in lactate among plasma patients. CONCLUSION Prehospital plasma is associated with reduced 30-day mortality and lactate in severely injured patients. More than one third of the effect of plasma on mortality is mediated by a reduction in lactate. Thus, reducing the severity of hemorrhagic shock appears to be one mechanism of prehospital plasma benefit. Further study should elucidate other mechanisms and if a dose response exists. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Therapeutic, level II.

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Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins