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Shock. 2015 Aug;44 Suppl 1:63-70. doi: 10.1097/SHK.0000000000000376.

Combat: Initial Experience with a Randomized Clinical Trial of Plasma-Based Resuscitation in the Field for Traumatic Hemorrhagic Shock.

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*University of Colorado-Denver; †Denver Health and Hospital Authority; and ‡Bonfils Blood Center, Denver, Colorado.


The existing evidence shows great promise for plasma as the first resuscitation fluid in both civilian and military trauma. We embarked on the Control of Major Bleeding After Trauma (COMBAT) trial with the support of the Department of Defense to determine if plasma-first resuscitation yields hemostatic and survival benefits. The methodology of the COMBAT study represents not only 3 years of development work but also the integration of nearly two decades of technical experience with the design and implementation of other clinical trials and studies. Herein, we describe the key features of the study design, critical personnel and infrastructural elements, and key innovations. We will also briefly outline the systems engineering challenges entailed by this study. The COMBAT trial is a randomized, placebo-controlled, semiblinded, prospective, phase IIB clinical trial conducted in a ground ambulance fleet based at a level I trauma center and part of a multicenter collaboration. The primary objective of the COMBAT trial is to determine the efficacy of field resuscitation with plasma first compared with standard of care (normal saline). To date, we have enrolled 30 subjects in the COMBAT study. The ability to achieve intervention with a hemostatic resuscitation agent in the closest possible temporal proximity to injury is critical and represents an opportunity to forestall the evolution of the "bloody vicious cycle." Thus, the COMBAT model for deploying plasma in first-response units should serve as a model for randomized clinical trials of other hemostatic resuscitative agents.


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