Is a Restrictive Transfusion Strategy Safe for Resuscitated and Critically Ill Trauma Patients? Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • BACKGROUND: An analysis from the prospective multicenter randomized controlled trial (Transfusion Requirements in Critical Care Trial) compared the use of restrictive and liberal transfusion strategies with resuscitated critically ill trauma patients. METHODS: Critically ill trauma patients with a hemoglobin concentration less than 90 g/L within 72 hours of admission to the intensive care unit were randomized to a restrictive (hemoglobin concentration, 70 g/L) or liberal (hemoglobin concentration, 100 g/L) red blood cell transfusion strategy. RESULTS: The baseline characteristics in the restrictive (n = 100) and liberal (n = 103) transfusion groups were comparable. The average hemoglobin concentrations (82.7 +/- 6.2 g/L vs. 104.3 +/- 12.2 g/L; p < 0.0001) and the red blood cell units transfused per patient (2.3 +/- 4.4 vs. 5.4 +/- 4.3; p < 0.0001) were significantly lower in the restrictive group than in the liberal group. The 30-day all-cause mortality rates in the restrictive group were 10%, as compared with 9% in the liberal group (p = 0.81). The presence of multiple organ dysfunction (9.2 +/- 6.3 vs. 9.0 +/- 6.0; p = 0.81), the changes in multiple organ dysfunction from baseline scores adjusted for death (1.2 +/- 6.1 vs. 1.9 +/- 5.7; p = 0.44), and the length of stay in the intensive care unit (9.8 +/- 8.1 vs. 10.2 +/- 8.7 days; p = 0.73) and hospital (31.4 +/- 17.1 vs. 33.7 +/- 17.7 days; p = 0.34) also were similar between the restrictive and liberal transfusion groups. CONCLUSIONS: A restrictive red blood cell transfusion strategy appears to be safe for critically ill multiple-trauma patients. A randomized controlled trial would provide the appropriate level of evidence with regard to the daily use of blood in this population of patients.

authors

  • McIntyre, Lauralyn
  • Hebert, Paul C
  • Wells, George
  • Fergusson, Dean
  • Marshall, John
  • Yetisir, Elizabeth
  • Blajchman, Morris

publication date

  • September 2004