French prehospital transfusion survey
Background: Major bleeding is the leading cause of preventable mortality among trauma patients. Several studies have recently shown that prehospital plasma transfusion improves the outcomes of severely injured patients. Although no consensus has been reached, prehospital transfusion is regularly considered to reduce avoidable mortality. The objective was to assess the status of prehospital transfusion practices in France.
Study design and methods: A national survey among the 378 advance life support emergency teams (SMURs) in metropolitan France was conducted from December 15, 2020 to October 31, 2021. A questionnaire was distributed by e-mail to the physicians in charge of SMURs. The questions addressed the transfusion modalities, labile blood products (LBPs) used, and limitations encountered in implementing transfusion.
Results: The response rate was 48%, and 82% of the respondents performed prehospital transfusions. A designated pack was used by 44% of the respondents. The LBPs used were packed red blood cells (100%), of which 95% were group 0 RH:-1, fresh frozen plasma (27%), lyophilized plasma (7%), and platelets (1%). The LBPs were transported in isothermal boxes (97%) without temperature monitoring in 52% of the cases. Nontransfused LBPs were discarded in 43% of the cases. Reported limitations in implementing transfusion were the delivery time (45%), loss of LBPs (32%), and lack of evidence (46%).
Discussion: Prehospital transfusion was developed in France but access to plasma remains difficult. Protocols allowing the reutilization of LBPs and improving conservation could limit the waste of a rare resource. Implementing the use of lyophilized plasma could facilitate prehospital transfusion. Future studies will need to specify the role of each LBP in the prehospital setting.
Bichot A, Pasquier P, Martinaud C, Corcostegui SP, Boutot F, Cazes N, Boutillier du Retail C, Travers S, Galant J. Use of prehospital transfusion by French emergency medical services: A national survey. Transfusion. 2023 Apr 18. doi: 10.1111/trf.17374. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37071770.