The Difference in Potential Harms between Whole Blood and Component Blood Transfusion in major Bleeding: A Rapid Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of RCTs

Systematic Review Initiative, NHS Blood and Transplant, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK; Nuffield Division of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, UK. Electronic address: louise.geneen@nhsbt.nhs.uk. Systematic Review Initiative, NHS Blood and Transplant, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK; Nuffield Division of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, UK. Systematic Review Initiative, NHS Blood and Transplant, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK; Nuffield Division of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, UK; Haematology/Transfusion Medicine, NHS Blood and Transplant, UK. Haematology/Transfusion Medicine, NHS Blood and Transplant, UK; Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK; Blizard Institute, Queen Mary, University of London, London, UK.

Transfusion medicine reviews. 2021

Other resources

PICO Summary

Population

Adults and children with any type of major bleeding (6 studies, n= 618).

Intervention

Fresh or whole blood (containing red blood cells (RBC), plasma, and platelets) from allogeneic donors (WB group).

Comparison

Blood component therapy, (RBC, and/or any forms of plasma, and/or platelets, and/or cryoprecipitate, or standard care), (BC group).

Outcome

All-cause mortality at 24-hours and 30-days was reported in 3 trials. There was no evidence of a difference in mortality of WB compared to BC therapy (very-low certainty evidence). For the remaining outcomes (organ injury, mechanical ventilation and intensive care unit requirement, infection, arterial/venous thrombotic events, and haemolytic transfusion reaction) there was no difference between WB and BC therapy (very-low certainty evidence).
Abstract
Our aim was to assess whether there is a difference in outcomes of potential "all-cause" harm in the transfusion of whole blood (WB) compared to blood components (BC) for any bleeding patient regardless of age or clinical condition. We searched multiple electronic databases using a pre-defined search strategy from inception to 2(nd) March 2021. 1 reviewer screened, extracted, and analysed data, with verification by a second reviewer of all decisions. We used Cochrane ROB1 and GRADE to assess the quality of the evidence. We used predefined subgroups of trauma and non-trauma studies in the analysis. We included six RCTs (618 participants) which compared WB and BC transfusion therapy in major bleeding, one trauma trial (n = 107), and 5 surgical trials (non-trauma) (n = 511). We GRADED evidence as very-low for all outcomes (downgraded for high and unclear risk of bias, small sample size, and wide confidence intervals around the estimate). Our primary outcome (all-cause mortality at 24-hours and 30-days) was reported in 3 out of 6 included trials. There was no evidence of a difference in mortality of WB compared to BC therapy (very-low certainty evidence). There may be a benefit of WB therapy compared to BC therapy in the non-trauma subgroup, with a reduction in the duration of oxygen dependence (1 study; n = 60; mean difference 5.9 fewer hours [95% Confidence Interval [CI] -10.83, -0.99] in WB group), and a reduction in hospital stay (1 study, n = 64, median difference 6 fewer days in WB group) (very-low certainty evidence). For the remaining outcomes (organ injury, mechanical ventilation and intensive care unit requirement, infection, arterial/venous thrombotic events, and haemolytic transfusion reaction) there was no difference between WB and BC therapy (wide CI, crossing line of no effect), though many of these outcomes were based on small single studies (very-low certainty evidence). In conclusion, there appears to be little to no difference in harms between WB and BC therapy, based on small studies with very low certainty of the evidence. Further large trials are required to establish the overall safety of WB compared to BC, and to assess differences between trauma and non-trauma patients.
Study details
Study Design : Systematic Review
Language : eng
Credits : Bibliographic data from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine