Massive Blood Transfusions and Outcomes in Trauma Patients; An Intention to Treat Analysis

Steven Liu, Quinn Fujii, Farris Serio, Andrew McCague


Objective: To determine if there exists an upper limit for amount of blood transfused in trauma patients before it reaches a point of futility.

Methods: A prospective cohort study was conducted on 131 patients who received massive blood transfusion (MBT), defined as 10 U or higher of PRBCs received in the initial 24 hours. Data collected from a Level II trauma center registry were used to analyze reports of adult patients from July 2014 to 2017. Cohorts were divided by amount of blood received - 0 to 9 U, 10-19 U, 20 to 29 U, 30-39 U, 40 U or higher - odds ratio for mortality and p-values for mean Injury Severity Score and overall hospital length of stay were calculated for each group.

Results: Odds ratios for massive blood transfusion groups from 10 units to 39 units each contained the null value, while our 40 units and above group did not (OR 12.52, 95% CI 1.3-117.7).

Conclusion: Although this study is limited by its sample size, these results suggests that 40 units of PRBCs may be a threshold at which survival rates begin to decrease significantly.


Massive transfusion; Blood transfusion; Trauma; Blood loss

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