UF researcher will study effect of blood-thinning agents on trauma patients

A University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville researcher has been awarded a grant to study the possible effects of blood-thinning medications on patients brought in for trauma care.

Brian Yorkgitis, P.A.-C., D.O., F.A.C.S., has been honored with the 2018 Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma Multicenter Trial Junior Investigator Award to perform a multicenter, prospective, observational study of trauma patients using antiplatelet agents.

Yorkgitis, an assistant professor in the college’s division of acute care surgery, will use the grant to begin the multicenter trial and to recruit 12 to 15 trauma centers across the country to study the effect of the antiplatelet agents on outcomes in trauma. The project will begin in the spring of 2018 and run through the end of 2020.

“This is an important study because trauma is the fourth-leading cause of death among Americans overall, and the ninth-leading cause of death among persons greater than 65 years old,” said Yorkgitis. “There are a large number of elderly patients taking antiplatelet agents who will get injured and require care at a trauma center and they may need alternative treatments. This study will help caregivers make those decisions.”

Yorkgitis said previous research has shown those patients taking aspirin, an antiplatelet agent, have worse outcomes following injury than those who don’t take the drug. In addition, with the advent of newer antiplatelet agents, there is concern that patients who use them may have even worse outcomes than patients taking aspirin experience.

Currently, there is a limited amount of data to direct clinicians on how to care for patients on the newer antiplatelet agents. Yorkgitis said this trial could have a dramatic impact on treatment throughout the country.