BACKGROUND: Recombinant FVIIa (rFVIIa/NovoSeven) is a novel hemostatic agent originally developed to treat patients with hemophilia who had developed inhibitors. Several case reports have suggested that rFVIIa may be effective in treating patients without a pre-existing bleeding disorder who have uncontrolled bleeding.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Data on the efficacy and safety of rFVIIa in the treatment of massive hemorrhage were obtained retrospectively from the NovoSeven extended-use data collection system.

RESULTS: A total of 40 patients received rFVIIa for uncontrolled bleeding, and in these patients, bleeding stopped or decreased in 32 (80%). Blood product usage was significantly decreased after rFVIIa administration. Thromboembolic events occurred in three patients with additional risk factors for thrombosis. Of 40 patients, 23 (57.5%) died. Bleeding was the direct cause of death in seven cases (all within 24 hr of administration of rFVIIa). The remaining 16 deaths were the result of sepsis, multi-organ failure, or the underlying disease.

CONCLUSIONS: In this retrospective study of data voluntarily submitted to a web-based drug surveillance program, we present preliminary results on the use of rFVIIa in nonhemophilia patients with bleeding. Although some efficacy is suggested, there was a high mortality rate from nonhemorrhagic causes. Randomized controlled trials are needed to properly assess the role of rFVIIa in the management of hemorrhage.