OBJECTIVE: The systemic or topical use of antifibrinolytic agents is effective in reducing postoperative bleeding and blood product transfusion in cardiac surgery. We sought to study the effect of the topical application of tranexamic acid into the pleural space to reduce postoperative bleeding after lung surgery. METHODS: This was a prospective randomised double blind placebo controlled investigation. From May-2010 to February-2012, 89-patients, scheduled for pulmonary resection, were randomly allocated to one of the two study groups. Group-A received 5 g of tranexamic-acid in 100 ml of saline solution. Group-B received 100 ml of saline solution as placebo. RESULTS: The blood loss in the first 12-h was significantly less in group-A. The same trend was observed in the first 24-h but without reaching a true statistical significance. The mean volume of blood transfusion was statistically lower in group-A. The analysis between post-operative haemoglobin concentration, haematocrit, platelet-count, international-normalised-ratio, fibrinogen and partial-thromboplastin-time of both groups was not statistically significant. CONCLUSION: In our experience, the topical use of tranexamic-acid after lung surgery reduces postoperative bleeding and blood transfusion volume. The topical administration of tranexamic-acid is safe without increasing the risk of post-operative complications related to pharmacological side-effects.
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