BACKGROUND: During preservation, donated liquid red blood cells (RBCs) experience multiple functional and structural changes known as the storage lesion. Increased RBC age is associated with increased infection rates, organ failure, and mortality. METHODS: This prospective, randomized, double-blinded pilot study enrolled stable trauma patients who required RBC transfusion. Patients were randomly assigned to receive standard or cryopreserved RBCs. Continuous tissue oxygenation (StO2) monitoring was performed during the peritransfusion period. Hematocrit and thrombelastography before and after transfusion were evaluated. Patients were monitored for transfusion reactions and clinical outcomes. RESULTS: Fifty-seven patients were randomized, and groups were well matched for demographics and Injury Severity Score (ISS). No statistically significant differences were noted in hematocrit change, thrombelastography parameters, transfusion reactions, or clinical outcomes. StO2 was found to be higher in the cryopreserved group. CONCLUSION: Cryopreserved RBCs are equally safe and efficacious to refrigerated RBCs. This storage technique extends the life span of RBCs to 10 years, potentially preserving a precious resource and preventing the storage lesion. StO 2 was superior in patients receiving cryopreserved RBCs. This finding has the potential to drive a paradigm shift in transfusion practices.
- Red blood cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine