Novel use of tranexamic acid to reduce the need for Nasal Packing in Epistaxis (NoPac) randomised controlled trial: Research protocol

Adam Reuben, Andrew Appelboam, Andy Barton, Patricia Jane Vickery, Richard Body, Malcolm Hilton, Jason Coppell, Paul Ewings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Patients presenting to emergency departments (EDs) with epistaxis uncontrolled by subsequent simple first aid measures or application of topical vasoconstrictors will typically undergo anterior nasal packing. Packing is effective, but can be extremely painful and unpleasant and patients usually need hospital admission. Tranexamic acid (TXA) is a cheap, safe, readily available antifibrinolytic agent known to be beneficial in a variety of clinical settings where uncontrolled bleeding may be a problem. Anecdotal evidence suggests that topical TXA may be of value in persistent epistaxis; however, further evaluation is required. Methods and analysis: This is a multicentre, double-blind, parallel group, randomised, controlled trial comparing the use of topical intranasal TXA with indistinguishable placebo in adults presenting to UK EDs with persistent atraumatic epistaxis. Follow-up is at 1 week by structured telephone review. The primary outcome measure is the subsequent need for anterior nasal packing in the ED. Key secondary outcomes include the need for hospital admission, blood transfusion and/or further treatment for epistaxis during the index ED attendance. Recruiting 450 patients will provide 90% power to demonstrate an absolute reduction in packing rate from 95% to 85%. An improvement of this magnitude would be of significant benefit to patients and healthcare providers and justify a change to standard practice. Given the low cost of TXA and its short administration time, a full economic evaluation is not being undertaken. Ethics and dissemination: The study has been approved by the South West - Bristol Research Ethics Committee (reference 17/SW/0010). We aim to publish the findings in a high impact, international peer-reviewed journal. Results: will also be shared with the Hereditary Haemorrhagic Telangiectasia foundation and telangiectasia UK for dissemination through appropriate related forums.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere026882
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number2
Early online date15 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • emergency
  • epistaxis
  • intranasal
  • packing
  • topical
  • tranexamic acid


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