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Objective: To determine the feasibility of a pivotal randomised clinical trial of intravenous (IV) iron and erythropoietin in adult survivors of critical illness with anaemia requiring treatment in the intensive care unit. Design: An investigator-initiated, parallel group, placebo-controlled, randomised feasibility trial. Setting: A tertiary intensive care unit (ICU) in Perth, Western Australia. Participants: Adults with anaemia (haemoglobin <100 g/L), requiring ICU-level care for more than 48 h, and likely to be ready for ICU discharge within 24 h. Interventions: A single dose of IV ferric carboxymaltose and Epoetin alfa (active group) or an equal volume of 0.9% saline (placebo group). Main outcome measures: Study feasibility was considered met if the pilot achieved a recruitment rate of ≥2 participants per site per month, ≥90% of participants received their allocated study treatment, and≥ 90% of participants were followed up for the proposed pivotal trial primary outcome - days alive and at home to day 90 (DAH90). Results: The 40-participant planned sample size included twenty in each group and was enrolled between 1/9/2021 and 2/3/2022. Participants spent a median of 3.4 days (interquartile range 2.8–5.1) in the ICU prior to enrolment and had a mean baseline haemoglobin of 83.7 g/L (standard deviation 6.7). The recruitment rate was 6.7 participants per month [95% confidence interval (CI) 4.8–9.0], DAH90 follow-up was 100% (95% CI 91.2%–100%), and 39 (97.5%, 95% CI 86.8%–99.9%) participants received the allocated study intervention. No serious adverse events were reported. Conclusion: The iron and erythropoietin to heal and recover after intensive care (ITHRIVE) pilot demonstrated feasibility based on predefined participant recruitment, study drug administration, and follow-up thresholds.

Original publication




Journal article


Critical Care and Resuscitation

Publication Date





201 - 206