Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Burns. 2011 Aug;37(5):742-52. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2011.01.016. Epub 2011 Mar 1.

Red blood cell transfusion following burn.

Author information

Civico and Benfratelli Hospital Burn Center, Palermo, Italy.


A severe burn will significantly alter haematologic parameters, and manifest as anaemia, which is commonly found in patients with greater than 10% total body surface area (TBSA) involvement. Maintaining haemoglobin and haematocrit levels with blood transfusion has been the gold standard for the treatment of anaemia for many years. While there is no consensus on when to transfuse, an increasing number of authors have expressed that less blood products should be transfused. Current transfusion protocols use a specific level of haemoglobin or haematocrit, which dictates when to transfuse packed red blood cells (PRBCs). This level is known as the trigger. There is no one 'common trigger' as values range from 6 g dl(-1) to 8 g dl(-1) of haemoglobin. The aim of this study was to analyse the current status of red blood cell (RBC) transfusions in the treatment of burn patients, and address new information regarding burn and blood transfusion management. Analysis of existing transfusion literature confirms that individual burn centres transfuse at a lower trigger than in previous years. The quest for a universal transfusion trigger should be abandoned. All RBC transfusions should be tailored to the patient's blood volume status, acuity of blood loss and ongoing perfusion requirements. We also focus on the prevention of unnecessary transfusion as well as techniques to minimise blood loss, optimise red cell production and determine when transfusion is appropriate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center