Statewide study aiming to improve the management of bleeding in patients with chronic liver disease

Photo: EMF grant recipients Dr Kate Hill, Dr Akmez Latona and Ms Katherine Stuart

Thursday 2 February 2023

An EMF grant will support the evaluation of Prothrombinex-VF in the management of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding in patients with Chronic Liver Disease (CLD).

When CLD patients present to the emergency department (ED) with GI bleeding, blood products including Prothrombinex®-VF are sometimes administered for clotting disturbances.

With a Leading Edge grant, emergency physician Dr Akmez Latona from Ipswich Hospital will expand on his earlier research which showed that Prothrombinex®-VF was used by emergency physicians while highlighting the lack of evidence to guide clinicians treating GI bleeding in CLD patients.

Dr Latona will lead a multi-centre review of patient records over six years, involving multiple specialties across all major Queensland Health hospitals.

With no existing statewide guideline for Prothrombinex®-VF, this valuable data will help define efficacy and safety of the blood product and contribute to future guidance for clinicians.

Co-investigator Dr Kate Hill, a Haematologist at Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) explains the importance of multiple clinical specialties and sites taking part in the research project.

“Emergency medicine, hepatology and haematology regularly share care of bleeding in patients with CLD, so it makes good sense to work together to advance research,” said Dr Hill.

“Uptake of our project across all major hospitals throughout Queensland demonstrates that this is an important topic in metropolitan and regional settings,” she said.

Fellow investigator Dr Katherine Stuart, Head of Hepatology at PAH explains that the project aims to provide clearer direction for Queensland clinicians.

“The fact that so many hospitals are involved will ensure an accurate and real-life study of the use of Prothrombinex®-VF in patients with CLD presenting with GI bleeding,” said Dr Stuart.

Dr Latona said receiving the EMF grant is important for the collaborative project.

“I think this EMF funding this collaboration is unique, brilliant and shows how emergency physicians excel with teamwork and collaboration.

“With teamwork across specialties, we bring complementary expertise to the table, achieve innovation and excellence in research. Working together, we are dynamic and rich,” said Dr Latona.

Dr Hill and Dr Stuart share this view.

“This type of large-scale study is what makes research in medicine both exciting and relevant,” said Dr Hill.

The research project Prothrombinex-VF® for coagulopathy of liver disease in acutely bleeding patients; Too much of a good thing? was awarded $100,000 in the Leading Edge grants scheme in Round 38 of EMF’s Queensland Research Program.

Round 39 of the Queensland Research Program is now open and accepting applications. Grants for research projects in emergency medicine are available across five different schemes. Find out more and apply here: 


Transforming Emergency Healthcare

EMF funding is improving emergency care for the elderly

Trauma: better treatment for severe bleeding

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