Epidemiology of Acute Transfusions in Major Orthopaedic Trauma

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Objectives:The orthopaedic trauma–related blood product usage is largely unknown. Aim of this study was to describe the epidemiology of early (<24 hours of arrival) blood component use in major orthopaedic trauma.Design:12-month prospective observational study.Setting:John Hunter Hospital, Level 1 Trauma Center, New South Wales, Australia.Patients:64 consecutive trauma admissions identified, who had an orthopaedic injury and required at least 1 unit of packed red blood cells (PRBC) <24 hours of arrival.Intervention:Epidemiological study.Main outcome measures:Demographics, orthopaedic injury type, procedure type, injury severity score, timing, place of first unit of transfusion, and blood component volumes were collected. Activation of the massive transfusion protocol was recorded. Primary outcome measures were intensive care unit admission and mortality.Results:From 965 major trauma admissions, 64 had one or more orthopaedic injuries and were transfused <24 hours. Forty-eight percent (31/64) required massive transfusion protocol activation. Average age was 41 ± 21 years, 73% (47/64) men. Eighty-four percent (54/64) required emergent orthopaedic intervention, 41% (22/54) having multiple procedures. Overall mortality was 13% (8/64). Twenty-five percent (16/64) required ≥10 units of PRBC. Average PRBC use was 7.2 ± 6.6 units and fresh frozen plasma use 4.3 ± 5.2 units. Thirty-nine percent (25/64) had a pelvic ring injury or acetabular fracture. Thirty-seven percent (24/64) had at least one femoral shaft fracture. Twenty patients had a total of 23 tibia fractures.Conclusions:Orthopaedic trauma patients consume the majority of the blood products <24 hours among blunt trauma patients. This resource-intensive group requires frequent urgent surgical interventions and intensive care unit admission.Level of Evidence:Prognostic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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