trauma center staffing


Susan Schmunk, CSTR, CAISS

A recent article from the American College of Emergency Physicians concluded that transfusion of packed red blood cells (PRBC) 22 days or older in major trauma victims may expose patients to an increased risk of death within 24 hours.

Major trauma victims can require massive transfusions of blood or blood products in a very short time. For the purposes of this analysis, massive PRBC transfusion was greater than or equal to 10 units. Analysis of the data from the Pragmatic, Randomized Optimal Plasma and Platelet Ration (PROPPR) trial looked at 678 patients in 12 Level I trauma centers across North America. The likelihood of harm increased as the number of units of PRBCs increased. Clinical effects of stored blood toxicity include elevated risk of clot formation, infection, sepsis, organ failure and death.

The authors noted, future studies are needed to compare patient outcomes among those who receive only fresh blood versus those who receive only old blood. This retrospective analysis looked at patients who received a mix of old and fresh blood.

Reference the following for more information:

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