Trends in trauma transfusion


Intravenous literature: Nakstad, A.R., Skaga, N.O., Pillgram-Larsen, J., Gran, B. and Heier, H.E. (2011) Trends in transfusion of trauma victims – evaluation of changes in clinical practice. Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine. 19(23). Provisonal pdf available here.


Background – The present study was performed to compare blood product consumption and clinical results in consecutive, unselected trauma patients during the first 6 months of year 2002, 2004 and 2007.

Methods – Clinical data, blood product consumption, lowest haemoglobin values on day 1-10 after admission, and 30-day mortality were extracted from in-hospital trauma registry and the blood bank data base. The subpopulation of massively transfused patients was identified and analysed separately.

Results – The total number of admitted trauma patients increased by 48% from 2002 to 2007, but the clinical data remained essentially unchanged. The mean number of erythrocyte units given day 1-10 decreased insignificantly from 9.4 in 2002 to 6.8 in 2007. New Injury Severity Score (NISS) increased in transfused and massively transfused patients, but not significantly. The number of patients transfused with plasma increased and the mean ratio of erythrocyte to plasma units transfused decreased by about 50%. The mean haemoglobin value in transfused patients on day 2 after admittance was significantly lower in 2007 than in 2002, while that on day 10 was significantly higher in 2007 than in 2002 and 2004. There was no change of 30-day survival from 2002 to 2007.

Conclusions – Significant changes of transfusion practice occurred during the periode, probably as a result of increased focus on haemostasis and more precise criteria for transfusion. Despite a lower consumption of erythrocytes in 2007 than in 2002 and 2004, the mean haemoglobin level of transfused patients was higher on day 10 in 2007. The low number of transfused patients in this material makes evaluation of effect on survival difficult. Larger studies with strict control of all influencing factors are needed.

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