To compare a propensity-matched cohort of injured children receiving conventional blood component transfusion to injured children receiving low-titer group O negative whole blood.
Transfusion of whole blood in pediatric trauma patients is feasible and safe. Effectiveness has not been evaluated.
Injured children ≥1 years old can receive up to 40 mL/kg of cold-stored, uncrossmatched whole blood during initial hemostatic resuscitation. Whole blood recipients (2016-2019) were compared to a propensity-matched cohort who received at least 1 uncrossmatched red blood cell unit in the trauma bay (2013-2016). Cohorts were matched for age, hypotension, traumatic brain injury, injury mechanism, and need for emergent surgery. Outcomes included time to resolution of base deficit, product volumes transfused, and INR after resuscitation.
Twenty-eight children who received whole blood were matched to 28 children who received components. The whole blood group had faster time to resolution of base deficit [median (IQR) 2 (1-2.5) hours vs 6 (2-24) hours, respectively; P < 0.001]. The post-transfusion INR was decreased in whole blood vs component cohort [median (IQR) 1.4 (1.3-1.5) vs 1.6 (1.4-2.2); P = 0.01]. Lower plasma volumes [median (IQR) = 5 (0-15) mL/kg vs 11 (5-35) mL/kg; P = 0.04] and lower platelet volumes [median (IQR) = 0 (0-2) vs 3 (0-8); P = 0.03] were administered to the whole blood group versus component group. Other clinical variables (in-hospital death, hospital length of stay, intensive care unit length of stay, and ventilator days) did not differ between groups.
Compared to component transfusion, whole blood transfusion results in faster resolution of shock, lower post-transfusion INR, and decreased component product transfusion. Larger cohorts are required to support these findings.