Prothrombinex vs Fresh Frozen Plasma for Bleeding after Cardiopulmonary Bypass (POPCAB)

Chief Investigator

Warren Pavey


SHRAC Grant, WA Department of Health

Bleeding requiring treatment in the form of blood transfusions and blood products is common after heart-lung bypass. It affects up to 30% of patients having the procedure.

The cause of this bleeding is complex and its treatment requires a multi pronged treatment approach. At present, when a deficiency in the amount of clotting factors in the blood is thought to be a contributing cause, there are two therapies which may be administered: Fresh frozen plasma or Prothrombinex VF.

Fresh frozen plasma, is a particular fluid fraction of whole blood from donors containing, among other things, proteins which work as clotting factors to stop bleeding. Prothrombinex VF is a powder which contains fewer different clotting factors than FFP but in much higher concentration. It is extracted from multiple human donors, purified

and virally inactivated. At present, Prothrombinex VF is not yet approved by the Theraputic Goods Administration for use in cardiac surgery. Both treatments however, are effective and in widespread use in Perth for bleeding after cardiac surgery.

This study aims to examine which, if any, of these two blood products is more effective in treating bleeding after heart lung bypass, as no comparison has yet been made between the two in this context.

Once complete, it is envisaged that the information we learn from this study will help doctors better treat bleeding after heart lung bypass and reduce the amount of blood products that patients are exposed to in treating this problem.

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