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Eur J Pediatr Surg. 2017 Feb;27(1):32-35. doi: 10.1055/s-0036-1587587. Epub 2016 Aug 17.

Adult-Based Massive Transfusion Protocol Activation Criteria Do Not Work in Children.

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Department of General Surgery, University of Colorado, Aurora, Colorado, United States.
Department of Pediatric Surgery, Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, Colorado, United States.
Department of Surgery, Denver Health Medical Center, Aurora, Colorado, United States.


Introduction In the adult population, assessment of blood consumption (ABC) score [penetrating mechanism, positive focused assessment sonography for trauma (FAST), systolic blood pressure < 90, and heart rate (HR) > 120] ≥2 identifies trauma patients who require massive transfusion (MT) with sensitivity and specificity of 75 and 86%. We hypothesized that the adult criteria cannot be applied to children, as the vital sign cut-offs are not age-adjusted. We aimed to determine if the use of a shock index, pediatric age-adjusted (SIPA) would improve the discriminate ability of the ABC score in children. Materials and Methods A retrospective review of children age 4 to 15 who received a packed red blood cell (PRBC) transfusion during admission for trauma between 2008 and 2014 was performed. We compared the sensitivity and specificity of ABC score ≥ 2, elevated SIPA, and age-adjusted ABC score (ABC-S) utilizing SIPA in place of HR and BP, to determine the need for MT. Results A total of 50 children were included, 31 received PRBC transfusion within 6 hours of injury, 7 children had a positive FAST, and 3 suffered penetrating trauma, all in the early transfusion group. ABC score ≥ 2 is 29% sensitive and 100% specific at predicting need for MT while ABC-S score ≥ 1 is 65% sensitive and 84% specific. Conclusions Adult-based criteria for activation of MT perform poorly in the pediatric population. The use of SIPA modestly improves the sensitivity of the ABC score in children; however, the sensitivity and specificity of this score are still worse than when used in an adult population. This suggests the need to develop a new score that takes into account the low rate of penetrating trauma and positive FAST in the pediatric population.

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