A survey of anaesthetists’ use of tranexamic acid in noncardiac surgery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Major bleeding in noncardiac surgery is common and associated with serious complications. The antifibrinolytic agent tranexamic acid (TXA) reduces bleeding and may reduce the risk of these complications. TXA also may have immunomodulatory effects that could reduce surgical site infection. Clinical trials of TXA in noncardiac surgery have been insufficiently powered to evaluate its efficacy and safety. Therefore, large randomised controlled trials of its use in noncardiac surgery are required. To ensure that future clinical trials are feasible and acceptable, we undertook a survey of Fellows of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA). Our aims were to ascertain current patterns of TXA administration and to assess the acceptability of randomising patients to intravenous TXA or placebo. A 12-item survey was electronically mailed to 1001 ANZCA Fellows. Two hundred and eighty nine responses were received and analysed (response rate 29%). Ninety-eight percent of respondents had used intravenous TXA in noncardiac surgery; 67% give TXA routinely for lower limb arthroplasty, with smaller proportions giving TXA for spinal surgery (40%) and other major orthopaedic surgery (28%). Almost half (49%) give TXA routinely for major trauma surgery. Thirty-six percent indicated that they did not give TXA for major vascular, abdominal, pelvic or thoracic surgery. The majority administered TXA as a single, fixed dose. Fifty-seven percent agreed that there is uncertainty about the relative risks and benefits of perioperative TXA in noncardiac surgery and 87% agreed that large definitive trials determining the safety and efficacy of perioperative TXA in noncardiac surgery are required. These results indicate that for ANZCA Fellows the use of TXA in noncardiac surgery is highly variable, that there is uncertainty about the safety and efficacy of TXA, and that a large trial would be acceptable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-84
Number of pages9
JournalAnaesthesia and Intensive Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • haemorrhage
  • risk
  • surveys and questionnaires
  • thrombosis
  • Tranexamic acid

Cite this