Exsanguination in first 24 hours significantly decreased (9.2 percent versus 14.6 percent), and more patients achieved hemostasis (86 percent versus 78 percent). More plasma (median 7 U versus 5 U) and platelets (median 12 U versus 6 U) were used in the 1:1:1 ratio versus 1:1:2 ratio, respectively.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 34 – No 04 – April 2015
There was no difference in complications between the two transfusion strategies.
The primary outcome of all-cause mortality was not statistically significant. This does not mean there is no difference between the two protocols, just that there was not a difference greater than 10 percent.
The study was unblinded once the transfusion protocol was started. This could have interfered with the treatment of the patients once they were assigned to one of the two protocols.
The hypothesis to compare 1:1:1 ratio to a 1:1:2 ratio was generated from the PROMMTT study. This was a prospective observational trial, and there could have been confounding factors responsible for the observed mortality benefit.
Another issue is the 1:1:1 group received platelets first (six units) followed by alternating RBCs and plasma. In contrast, the 1:1:2 group received two units of RBCs first followed by one unit of plasma. Platelets were not provided until after receiving nine units of other blood products. It is possible the platelets given first in the 1:1:1 group were responsible for the earlier hemostasis and fewer deaths due to exsanguination by 24 hours.
A 1:1:1 ratio is a reasonable approach to adult patients who require a massive transfusion and seems to achieve more hemostasis and less death from exsanguination at 24 hours without increased complications.
The patient was started on a 1:1:1 massive transfusion protocol and had a thoracotomy performed but ultimately did not survive.
Thank you to Salim Rezaie, MD, FACEP, who is a faculty member at the University of Texas, for his help with this review.
Remember to be skeptical of anything you learn, even if you learned it on The Skeptics’ Guide to Emergency Medicine.
Dr. Milne is chief of emergency medicine and chief of staff at South Huron Hospital, Ontario, Canada. He is on the Best Evidence in Emergency Medicine faculty and is creator of the knowledge translation project the Skeptics’ Guide to Emergency Medicine.
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