The impact of providing blood to the scene of an accident on transfusion laboratory practice
Haemorrhage is the leading cause of mortality during trauma. In 2012, London's Air Ambulance introduced Blood on Board (BOB), transfusing group O red cells (RBC) to trauma patients at the scene.Objectives:
This study assessed the impact of BOB on the number of mixed field samples received by the laboratory, the number of group O RBC transfused to non-group O patients and the ratio of RBC to fresh frozen plasma (FFP) transfused in the initial 24 h.Methods:
Three major trauma centres collected data on patients for whom the major haemorrhage protocol was activated between August 2008 and February 2012 pre-BOB and March 2012 and December 2013 post-BOB.Results:
A total of 233 trauma patients were identified pre-BOB and 119 post-BOB. There was no significant difference in the percentage of group O units transfused to non-group O patients (75 vs 82%, P = 0·21) or the RBC : FFP ratio (pre-BOB mean 1·6 [interquartile range (IQR) 1·0–2·0]; post-BOB mean 1·7 [IQR 1·1–2·2], P = 0·24). There was no significant difference in the percentage of mixed field samples received (23% vs 27%, P = 0·3).Conclusion:
The introduction of BOB did not change the proportion of group O RBC transfused or the RBC : FFP ratio; however, the proportion of acceptable samples decreased. This is largely due to an increase in blood samples not received from the post-BOB cohort, which we believe is probably due to patients who died at the scene. We have introduced robust systems to indicate reasons for not obtaining samples.