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Transfusion. 2010 Feb;50(2):443-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2009.02415.x. Epub 2009 Oct 5.

The practice of reporting transfusion-related acute lung injury: a national survey among clinical and preclinical disciplines.

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  • 1Department of Intensive Care Medicine and Department of Hematology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.



Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) is hypothesized to be a "two-hit" entity, in which an inflammatory condition (e.g., sepsis) predisposes to TRALI. TRALI is a clinical diagnosis. Disciplines involved in managing TRALI may differ in decision-making on the reporting of TRALI.


A survey was conducted among critical care physicians, hematologists, hemovigilance workers, and transfusion medicine physicians, using case vignettes and a questionnaire. The vignettes varied in patient- and blood product-related factors that may influence the decision to report a TRALI case. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed. A positive beta-coefficient is in favor of reporting.


Ninety-two questionnaires were returned (response rate, 68%). For all disciplines, preferences in favor of reporting TRALI were onset of symptoms within 1 hour (beta = 0.4), after transfusion of a single unit of FFP (beta = 0.5), and in the absence of acute lung injury before transfusion (beta = 1.3). An admission diagnosis of sepsis was a negative preference (beta = -0.3). Massive transfusion (6 RBC plus 4 FFP units) was a negative preference for transfusion medicine physicians (beta = -0.3), but a positive preference for the other disciplines. The questionnaire revealed that massive transfusion and the age of blood products were considered relatively more important reasons to report TRALI by critical care physicians compared to the other disciplines (p < 0.05).


A pretransfusion inflammatory condition is a reason to withhold from reporting of a suspected TRALI case. Disciplines involved in managing TRALI differ in decision-making of reporting TRALI, which may contribute to variance in incidence.

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