High ratios of plasma and platelets to packed red blood cells do not affect mortality in nonmassively transfused patients

Chitra N. Sambasivan, Nicholas R. Kunio, Prakash V. Nair, Karen A. Zink, Joel E. Michalek, John B. Holcomb, Martin A. Schreiber

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    62 Scopus citations


    Background: Administration of high transfusion ratios in patients not requiring massive transfusion might be harmful. We aimed to determine the effect of high ratios of fresh frozen plasma (FFP) and platelets (PLT) to packed red blood cells (PRBC) in nonmassively transfused patients. Methods: Records of 1,788 transfused trauma patients who received <10 units of PRBC in 24 hours at 23 United States Level I trauma centers were reviewed. The relationship between ratio category (low and high) and in-hospital mortality was assessed with propensity-adjusted multivariate proportional hazards models. Results: At baseline, patients transfused with a high FFP:PRBC ratio were younger, had a lower Glasgow Coma Scale score, and a higher Injury Severity Score. Those receiving a high PLT:PRBC ratio were older. The risk of in-hospital mortality did not vary significantly with FFP:PRBC ratio category. Intensive care unit (ICU)-free days, hospital-free days, and ventilator-free days did not vary significantly with FFP:PRBC ratio category. ICU-free days and ventilator-free days were significantly decreased among patients in the high (≥1:1) PLT:PRBC category, and hospital-free days did not vary significantly with PLT:PRBC ratio category. The analysis was repeated using 1:2 as the cutoff for high and low ratios. Using this cutoff, there was still no difference in mortality with either FFP:PRBC ratios or platelet:PRBC ratios. However, patients receiving a >1:2 ratio of FFP:PRBCs or a >1:2 ratio PLT:PRBCs had significantly decreased ICU-free days and ventilator-free days. Conclusions: FFP:PRBC and PLT:PRBC ratios were not associated with in-hospital mortality. Depending on the threshold analyzed, a high ratio of FFP:PRBC and PLT:PRBC transfusion was associated with fewer ICU-free days and fewer ventilator-free days, suggesting that the damage control infusion of FFP and PLT may cause increased morbidity in nonmassively transfused patients and should be rapidly terminated when it becomes clear that a massive transfusion will not be required.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)S329-S336
    JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
    Issue number2 SUPPL. 3
    StatePublished - Aug 1 2011



    • Nonmassive transfusion
    • Risks of transfusion
    • Transfusion ratios

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Surgery
    • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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