Transfusions of blood products are common in critically ill patients and have a potential for immunomodulation. The aim of this study is to address the impact of transfusion of blood products on the susceptibility to ICU-acquired infections in the high-risk patients with septic shock.
A single-center retrospective study over a 10-year period (2008-2017).
A medical ICU of a tertiary-care center.
All consecutive patients diagnosed for septic shock within the first 48 hours of ICU admission were included. Patients who were discharged or died within the first 48 hours were excluded.
RBC, platelet, and fresh frozen plasma transfusions collected up to 24 hours prior to the onset of ICU-acquired infection.
During the study period, 1,152 patients were admitted for septic shock, with 893 patients remaining alive in the ICU after 48 hours of management. A first episode of ICU-acquired infection occurred in 28.3% of the 48-hour survivors, with a predominance of pulmonary infections (57%). Patients with ICU-acquired infections were more likely to have received RBC, platelet, and fresh frozen plasma transfusions. In a multivariate Cox cause-specific analysis, transfusions of platelets (cause-specific hazard ratio = 1.55 [1.09-2.20]; p = 0.01) and fresh frozen plasma (cause-specific hazard ratio = 1.38 [0.98-1.92]; p = 0.05) were independently associated with the further occurrence of ICU-acquired infections.
Transfusions of platelets and fresh frozen plasma account for risk factors of ICU-acquired infections in patients recovering from septic shock. The occurrence of ICU-acquired infections should be considered as a relevant endpoint in future studies addressing the indications of transfusions in critically ill patients.