- To describe the use of recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) in patients with life-threatening haemorrhage. We report a case series of Australian patients with life-threatening haemorrhage who were treated with rFVIIa prior to August 2002 namely 21 patients, median age 45 years (range 22-79 years), 33% (seven of 21) female. The major causes for bleeding were multi-trauma, cardiac or vascular surgery, or orthoptic liver transplantation. In the 24 h prior to the administration of rFVIIa, the median blood usage was 22 U packed cells (range 3-66 U), the median International Normalized Ratio was 1.6 (range 1.4-3.6) and the median activated partial thromboplastin time was 55 s (range 31-180 s). During the 24 h after administration of rFVIIa, the median blood usage was 2 U packed cells (range 0-16 U), the median International Normalized Ratio was 1.0 (range 0.9-1.2) and the median activated partial thromboplastin time was 40 s (range 30-94 s); P < 0.001 for each comparison. Sixteen of the 21 patients were discharged from hospital or were alive at 30 days. There were no thrombotic complications following the administration of rFVIIa. These uncontrolled data suggest a role for rFVIIa as an adjunctive haemostatic measure in surgical patients with life-threatening haemorrhage for whom conventional measures to achieve haemostasis have failed.