Keywords: Post-tonsillectomy, bleeding, airway (PubMed Search)
Post tonsillectomy hemorrhage occurs and 0.1-3% of post tonsillectomy patient's. It occurs typically greater than 24 hours after surgery and up to 4-10 days postoperatively. A survey of otolaryngologists showed that ED management strategies for active bleeding have included direct pressure, clot suction, silver nitrate, topical epinephrine, and thrombin powder.
This article was a case study demonstrating the use of nebulized tranexamic acid (TXA) for post tonsillectomy hemorrhage in a 3-year-old patient. The patient had a copious amount of oral bleeding and had failed treatment with nebulized racemic epinephrine and direct pressure was not an option due to the patient's cooperation and small mouth. 250 mg of IV TXA was given via nebulizer with a flow rate of 8 L. Bleeding stopped 5-7 minutes after completion of the nebulizer. The patient was then taken to the OR for definitive management. No adverse effects were noticed.
TXA in the pediatric population has been shown to decrease surgical blood loss and transfusions in cardiac, spine and craniofacial surgeries. Studies have also been done in pediatric patients with diffuse alveolar hemorrhage using doses of 250 mg for children less than 25 kg and 500 mg for those who are greater than 25 kg.
Bottom line: There are case reports of nebulized TXA use in the pediatric population with no adverse outcomes noted. More research is needed.
Schwarz W, Ruttan T, Bundick K. Nebulized Tranexamic Acid Use for Pediatric Secondary Post-Tonsillectomy Hemorrhage. Annals of Emergency Medicine 2018. Epub ahead of print.