Whole truths but half the blood: Addressing the gap between the evidence and practice of pre-hospital and in-hospital blood product use for trauma resuscitation

Zain G. Hashmi, Mohamad Chehab, Avery B. Nathens, Bellal Joseph, Eric A. Bank, Jan O. Jansen, John B. Holcomb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: In recent years, several studies have demonstrated the efficacy of using pre-hospital blood product and in-hospital whole blood for trauma resuscitation. While some observations suggest an encouraging uptake of this evidence by emergency medical service (EMS) agencies and trauma centers, a nationwide characterization of blood product utilization for bleeding trauma patients remains unknown. The objective of this study is to determine nationwide estimates of pre-hospital blood product and in-hospital whole blood utilization for trauma resuscitation. Study Design and Methods: All adult trauma patients reported to the National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS) dataset 2019 were included. Proportions of patients who received any pre-hospital blood product were calculated. The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Trauma Quality Programs (TQP) databases 2015–2017 and first quarter of 2020 were used to calculate the proportion of ACS-verified trauma centers that transfused whole blood. Results: Among a total of 3,058,804 pre-hospital trauma patients, only 313 (0.01%) received any blood transfusion; 208 (0.21%) patients with systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≤90 mmHg and 121 (0.67%) patients with SBP ≤90 mmHg and heart rate ≥120 beats per minute received any blood product. The proportion of ACS-verified trauma centers transfusing whole blood increased from 16.7% (45/269) in 2015 to 24.5% (123/502) in first quarter of 2020. Discussion: Despite strong evidence and recommendations, pre-hospital utilization of blood products for trauma resuscitation remains low. Additionally, while the overall in-hospital whole blood use also remains low, its use has increased at ACS-verified trauma centers over the past 5 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S348-S353
JournalTransfusion
Volume61
Issue numberS1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Hematology

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