Limited Resuscitation With Fresh or Stored Whole Blood Corrects Cardiovascular and Metabolic Function in a Rat Model of Polytrauma and Hemorrhage

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We have recently shown that human whole blood stored at 4°C maintains hemostatic and platelet function. In this study, we compared restoration of hemodynamic, metabolic and hemostatic function after limited resuscitation with rat fresh whole blood, rat stored whole blood, or Lactated Ringers in traumatized rats.


Rat whole blood was stored for 10 days at 4°C for evaluation of hemostatic function. Polytrauma was performed on isoflurane-anesthetized Sprague–Dawley rats (350–450 g) by damage to the intestines, liver, right leg skeletal muscle, and right femur fracture, followed by 40% hemorrhage. At 1 h, rats were resuscitated (20%) with either fresh whole blood (FWB), stored whole blood, 4°C for 7 days (SWB), Lactated Ringers (LR), or nothing. Blood samples were taken before and 2 h after trauma and hemorrhage to evaluate metabolic and hemostatic function.


Whole blood stored for 10 days showed a significant prolongation in prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), and fall in fibrinogen concentration, but no change in Maximum Clot Firmness or speed of clot formation. Platelet function was maintained until day 7 in storage, than fell significantly. Polytrauma and hemorrhage in rats led to a fall in arterial pressure, plasma bicarbonate, fibrinogen, and platelet function, and a rise in plasma lactate, PT, aPTT, and creatinine. Resuscitation with either FWB or 7 day SWB, but not LR, returned arterial pressure, plasma lactate and plasma bicarbonate to levels similar to control, but had no effect on the fall in fibrinogen or platelet function, or the rise in PT, aPTT, or creatinine.


Hemostatic and platelet function of rat whole blood stored at 4°C is preserved for at least 7 days in vitro. Low volume resuscitation with SWB or FWB, but not LR, restores hemodynamic and metabolic function, but not the coagulopathy after severe trauma and hemorrhage.

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