Department of Biostatistics and Data Science, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas. Department of Acute, Chronic and Continuing Care, School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama. Department of Pathology and Center for Free Radical Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama. Department of Surgery, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas. Department of Emergency Medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas.
BACKGROUND The mortality of trauma patients requiring massive transfusion to treat hemorrhagic shock approaches 17% at 24 hours and 26% at 30 days. The use of stored RBCs is limited to less than 42 days, so older RBCs are delivered first to rapidly bleeding trauma patients. Patients who receive a greater quantity of older RBCs may have a higher risk
for mortality. METHODS AND MATERIALS Characterizing blood age exposure requires accounting for the age of each RBC unit and the quantity of transfused units. To address this challenge, a novel Scalar Age of Blood Index (SBI) that represents the relative distribution of RBCs received is introduced and applied to a secondary analysis of the Pragmatic, Randomized Optimal Platelet and Plasma Ratios (PROPPR) randomized controlled trial (NCT01545232, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01545232). The effect of the SBI is assessed on the primary PROPPR outcome, 24-hour and 30-day mortality. RESULTS The distributions of blood storage ages successfully maps to a parameter (SBI) that fully defines the blood age curve for each patient. SBI was a significant predictor of 24-hour and 30-day mortality in an adjusted model that had strong predictive ability (odds ratio, 1.15 [1.01-1.29], p = 0.029, C-statistic, 0.81; odds ratio, 1.14 [1.02-1.28], p = 0.019, C-statistic, 0.88, respectively). CONCLUSION SBI is a simple scalar metric of blood age that accounts for the relative distribution of RBCs among age categories. Transfusion of older RBCs is associated with 24-hour and 30-day mortality, after adjustment for total units and clinical covariates.