Blood utilization at a level I trauma center: Is this as good as it gets?

Academic Article


  • Recognition of the adverse effects of allogeneic blood resulted in the decreased use of red blood cell (RBC) transfusion in surgical practice in the 1990s. Our objective was to evaluate patterns of RBC transfusion utilization among trauma patients during the current decade. Blunt trauma patients admitted to a regional trauma center between 2000 and 2007 were identified (n = 16,011). Annual trends in RBC utilization were estimated (negative binomial regression for continuous dependent variables and logistic regression for dichotomous variables). Models were stratified by Injury Severity Score to adjust for injury severity. Although the proportion of patients receiving a blood transfusion within 48 hours of hospitalization significantly increased (P < 0.0001), there was no significant change in the rate of units transfused (P = 0.5152) among transfused patients. After stratification by Injury Severity Score, a significantly decreasing trend in the proportion of severely injured patients transfused was observed (P = 0.0243). Annual variation in the relatively less injured groups was not significant. In the current decade, transfusion utilization at a Level I trauma center has demonstrated minimal variation on a year-to-year basis. Among the severely injured, the temporal decrease in relatively early utilization of RBC transfusion may reflect increasing inclination to accept a greater degree of anemia in higher acuity patients.
  • Start Page

  • 693
  • End Page

  • 697
  • Volume

  • 75