Rationale and Design of the Informing Fresh versus Old Red Cell Management (INFORM) Trial: An International Pragmatic Randomized Trial
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Although red blood cell transfusion is a potentially lifesaving intervention in severely anemic and acutely bleeding patients, some observational studies have suggested that prolonged red cell storage before transfusion is associated with harm. INFORM is a large, pragmatic, randomized controlled trial comparing the effect of the shorter storage with longer storage red blood cell transfusions on inhospital mortality in hospitalized patients who require a blood transfusion. The trial is being conducted in centers in Australia, Canada, Israel, and the United States and is expected to enroll 31497 patients. If the results of INFORM indicate that shorter storage red blood cell transfusion is associated with superior outcomes compared with standard issue red blood cell transfusion, consideration may be given to shortening blood storage times. If, in contrast, the INFORM trial provides no evidence of harm from longer storage red blood cells, clinicians and patients may be reassured that current blood inventory management strategies are appropriate.
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