Blood Product Utilization Among Trauma and Nontrauma Massive Transfusion Protocols at an Urban Academic Medical Center

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hospital-wide massive transfusion protocols (MTPs) primarily designed for trauma patients may lead to excess blood products being prepared for nontrauma patients. This study characterized blood product utilization among distinct trauma and nontrauma MTPs at a large, urban academic medical center.

METHODS:

A retrospective study of blood product utilization was conducted in patients who required an MTP activation between January 2011 and December 2015 at an urban academic medical center. Trauma MTP containers included 6 red blood cell (RBC) units, 5 plasma units, and 1 unit of apheresis platelets. Nontrauma MTP containers included 6 RBC and 3 plasma units.

RESULTS:

There were 334 trauma MTP activations, 233 nontrauma MTP activations, and 77 nontrauma MTP activations that subsequently switched to a trauma MTP (“switched activations”). All nontrauma MTP activations were among bleeding patients who did not have a traumatic injury (100% [233/233]). Few patients with a nontrauma activation required ad hoc transfusion of RBC units (1.3% [95% confidence interval {CI}, 0.3%–3.7%]) or plasma (3.4% [95% CI, 1.5%–6.7%]), and only 45.5% (95% CI, 39.0%–52.1%) required ad hoc transfusion of apheresis platelets. Compared to trauma and switched activations, nontrauma activations transfused a lower median number of RBC, plasma, and apheresis platelet units (P < .001 for all comparisons). There was also a lower median number of prepared but unused plasma units for nontrauma activations (3; [interquartile range {IQR}, 3–5]) compared to trauma (7; [IQR, 5–10]; P < .001) and switched activations (8; [IQR, 5–11]; P < .001). The median number of unused apheresis platelet units was 1 (IQR, 1–2) for trauma activations and 0 (IQR, 0–1) for switched activations. There was a high proportion of trauma and switched activations in which all of the prepared apheresis platelet units were unused (28.1% [95% CI, 23.4%–33.3%] and 9.1% [95% CI, 3.7%–17.8%], respectively).

CONCLUSIONS:

The majority of initial nontrauma MTP activations did not require a switch to a trauma MTP. Patients remaining under a nontrauma MTP activation were associated with a lower number of transfused and unused plasma and apheresis platelet units. Future studies evaluating the use of hospital-wide nontrauma MTPs are warranted since an MTP designed for nontrauma patient populations may yield a key strategy to optimize blood product utilization in comparison to a universal MTP for both trauma and nontrauma patients.

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