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Med J Aust. 1995 Oct 2;163(7):356-9.

Massive blood transfusion in a tertiary referral hospital. Clinical outcomes and haemostatic complications.

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1
Haematology Department, Liverpool Hospital, NSW.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine blood products used, clinical outcomes and frequency of haemostatic complications of massive blood transfusion.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

Retrospective review of the medical records of patients receiving more than 10 units of blood in 24 hours at a tertiary referral hospital in 1993.

PATIENTS:

Forty-three patients fulfilled this criterion. The major reasons for massive transfusion were trauma (46%; 20 patients), gastrointestinal bleeding (21%; nine patients) and leaking abdominal aortic aneurysm (14%; six patients).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Blood products used, platelet count ( < 50 x 10(9)/L in first 48 h), prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) (twice normal in first 48 h), microvascular bleeding, and survival.

RESULTS:

The 43 patients used 824 units of packed cells 15.2% of the total used in 1993), 457 units of fresh frozen plasma (FFP) (17.1% of the 1993 total) and 370 units of platelets (14.8% of the 1993 total). Overall, these patients consumed 16% of the total number of units of blood product used in 1993 for 1478 transfusion episodes. The overall survival rate was 60%. Severe coagulopathy occurred in 19 patients (44%) (mortality rate, 74%), and 13 (31%) had severe thrombocytopenia ( < 50 x 10(9)/L). There was no significant correlation between the severity of coagulopathy/thrombocytopenia and total units transfused, or between the age of the units of blood and development of coagulopathy or microvascular bleeding.

CONCLUSIONS:

Severe coagulopathy is common after massive transfusions. In the absence of clear correlation with the number of units transfused, "formula" replacement with plasma and platelets is unlikely to avoid the problem. Duration of tissue hypoperfusion and platelet consumption are likely to be more important than simple haemodilution of coagulation factors.

PMID:
7565259
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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