BACKGROUND: Blood product transfusions are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. The purpose of this study was to determine if implementation of a restrictive protocol for packed red blood cell (PRBC) and fresh frozen plasma (FFP) transfusion safely reduces blood product utilization and costs in a surgical intensive care unit (SICU).

STUDY DESIGN: We performed a retrospective, historical control analysis comparing before (PRE) and after (POST) implementation of a restrictive PRBC/FFP transfusion protocol for SICU patients. Univariate analysis was utilized to compare patient demographics and blood product transfusion totals between the PRE and POST cohorts. Multivariate logistic regression models were developed to determine if implementation of the restrictive transfusion protocol is an independent predictor of adverse outcomes after controlling for age, illness severity, and total blood products received.

RESULTS: 829 total patients were included in the analysis (PRE, n=372; POST, n=457). Despite higher mean age (56 vs. 52 years, p=0.01) and APACHE II scores (12.5 vs. 11.2, p=0.006), mean units transfused per patient were lower for both packed red blood cells (0.7 vs. 1.2, p=0.03) and fresh frozen plasma (0.3 vs. 1.2, p=0.007) in the POST compared to the PRE cohort, respectively. There was no difference in inpatient mortality between the PRE and POST cohorts (7.5% vs. 9.2%, p=0.39). There was a decreased risk of urinary tract infections (OR 0.47, 95%CI 0.28-0.80) in the POST cohort after controlling for age, illness severity and amount of blood products transfused.

CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of a restrictive transfusion protocol can effectively reduce blood product utilization in critically ill surgical patients with no increase in morbidity or mortality.

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in PLOS One, v. 10, no. 5, article e0126895, p. 1-11.

© 2015 Szpila et al.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

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Funding Information

BES, AGC, and LFG were supported by a T32 training grant (T32 GM-008721) in burns and trauma from the NIGMS. AB is supported by NIH NIGMS Grant K23 GM087709. Other support was provided by R01 GM-40586-24 and R01 GM-80576-06 awarded by the NIGMS. AB, FM, SB, and PE were supported by a P50 NIH grant P50GM111152-01. NIH funding had a role in the collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; and preparation and review of the manuscript.

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