Last january a highly anticipated paper came out in the NEJM (http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMoa1211801), which should be a game changer, given a few provisos. Villanueva et al reported on their large (almost 1,000 patients) randomized study on liberal (<90 mg/dl) vs restrictive (<70 mg/dl) strategy. Interestingly but no longer surprisingly, the patients in the restrictive strategy did better.
Hmmm…sound familiar? By now everyone accepts the TRICC trial threshold of 70 in ICU patients, but when it first came out, there were a fair bit of disbelievers and concerned health care workers. At the time, they excluded GI bleeds and acute coronary syndromes, understandably,
So what do the numbers say? First lets see if there was any difference in the actual treatment. Definitely. In the restrictive group, 51% of patients required transfusion, vs 86% in the liberal group. Sizeable difference. Now in terms of outcomes:
a. rebleeding decreased: 10% vs 16%
b. 6 week…
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