Prehospital Blood Transfusions in Non-Trauma Patients

Cornelius A. Thiels, Johnathon M. Aho, Aoidhnait S. Fahy, Maile E. Parker, Amy E. Glasgow, Kathleen S. Berns, Elizabeth B Habermann, Scott P. Zietlow, Martin D. Zielinski

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11 Scopus citations


Introduction: Despite advances in trauma care, hemorrhage continues to be the leading cause of preventable mortality in trauma. The evidence to support its use in non-trauma patients is limited. We aim to report our experience with prehospital blood product transfusion. We hypothesize that it is safe, appropriately utilized, and that our protocol, which was designed for trauma patients, is adaptable to fit the needs of non-trauma patients. Methods: Patients transfused with blood products, packed red blood cells (pRBCs) or plasma, in the prehospital environment between 2002 and 2014 were included. Trauma patients were compared to non-trauma patients using descriptive statistics. Results: A total of 857 patients (n = 549 trauma and n = 308 non-trauma) were transfused with pRBCs (76 %, n = 654, mean 1.6 ± 1.1 units en route), plasma (53 %, n = 455, mean 1.7 ± 0.7 unit), or both (29 %, n = 252) during ground (12 %) or air (84 %) critical care transport. Mean age was 60.8 ± 21.6 years with 60.1 % (n = 515) males. Subsequently, in-hospital blood transfusions were performed in 80 % of patients, operations in 44 %, and endoscopy in 31 %. Five percent (n = 41) of patients did not require any of these interventions. Thirty-day mortality rate was 18 %, and one patient (

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalWorld Journal of Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - May 23 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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    Thiels, C. A., Aho, J. M., Fahy, A. S., Parker, M. E., Glasgow, A. E., Berns, K. S., Habermann, E. B., Zietlow, S. P., & Zielinski, M. D. (Accepted/In press). Prehospital Blood Transfusions in Non-Trauma Patients. World Journal of Surgery, 1-8.