Autotransfusion of Potentially Culture-Positive Blood (CPB) in Abdominal Trauma: Preliminary Data from a Prospective Study

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Increased use of autotransfusion for traumatic hemorrhage may reduce amounts of banked blood needed for severe injuries. Autotransfusion is standard for traumatic hemothorax, but has been limited for abdominal injuries. This prospective study used microbiologic data from 152 patients with intestinal injuries. Where anticipated blood loss was < 1,000 mL, blood from the peritoneal cavity was cultured, washed, concentrated, and recultured before reinfusion. Infection rates were stratified using the Penetrating Abdominal Trauma Index (PATI). Fifty patients with PATI <20 who received banked blood (group I) (mean:1,800 mL) were compared with 20 patients (group II) who received autotransfused, potentially culture-positive blood (CPB) (mean:3,900 mL).Wound infection rates were identical in both groups (25%). No statistically significant increase was found in site-specific infection risk when severity of injury was stratified according to PATI. Bacteremias, pulmonary infections, and urinary infections were not caused by bacteria cultured from autotransfused blood. We conclude that washed CPB may be autotransfused without significantly increased risk of infection in patients with severe abdominal injuries.

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