Mortality outcomes in patients transfused with fresher versus older red blood cells: a meta-analysis
Vox Sanguinis. 2017;112((3):):268-278
BACKGROUND Among transfused patients, the effect of the duration of red blood cell storage on mortality remains unclear. This study aims to compare the mortality of patients who were transfused with fresher versus older red blood cells. METHODS We performed an updated systematic search in the CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL databases, from January 2015 to October 2016. RCTs of hospitalized patients of any age comparing transfusion of fresher versus older red blood cells were eligible. We used a random-effects model to calculate pooled risk ratios (RRs) with corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI). RESULTS We identified 14 randomized trials that enrolled 26 374 participants. All-cause mortality occurred in 1219 of 9531 (12.8%) patients who received a transfusion of fresher red blood cells and 1810 of 16 843 (10.7%) in those who received older red blood cells (RR: 1.04, 95% CI: 0.98-1.12, P = 0.90, I2 = 0%, high certainty for ruling out benefit of fresh blood, moderate certainty for ruling out harm of fresh blood). In six studies, in-hospital death occurred in 691 of 7479 (9.2%) patients receiving fresher red cells and 1291 of 14 757 (8.8%) receiving older red cells (RR: 1.06, 95% CI: 0.97-1.15, P = 0.81, I2 = 0%, high certainty for ruling out benefit of fresh blood, moderate certainty for ruling out harm of fresh blood). CONCLUSION Transfusion of fresher red blood cells does not reduce overall or in-hospital mortality when compared with older red blood cells. Our results support the practice of transfusing patients with the oldest red blood cells available in the blood bank.
The importance of early treatment with tranexamic acid in bleeding trauma patients: an exploratory analysis of the CRASH-2 randomised controlled trial
Lancet. 2011;377((9771):):1096-101, 1101.e1-2.
BACKGROUND The aim of the CRASH-2 trial was to assess the effects of early administration of tranexamic acid on death, vascular occlusive events, and blood transfusion in trauma patients with significant haemorrhage. Tranexamic acid significantly reduced all-cause mortality. Because tranexamic acid is thought to exert its effect through inhibition of fibrinolysis, we undertook exploratory analyses of its effect on death due to bleeding.METHODS The CRASH-2 trial was undertaken in 274 hospitals in 40 countries. 20,211 adult trauma patients with, or at risk of, significant bleeding were randomly assigned within 8 h of injury to either tranexamic acid (loading dose 1 g over 10 min followed by infusion of 1 g over 8 h) or placebo. Patients were randomly assigned by selection of the lowest numbered treatment pack from a box containing eight numbered packs that were identical apart from the pack number. Both participants and study staff (site investigators and trial coordinating centre staff ) were masked to treatment allocation. We examined the effect of tranexamic acid on death due to bleeding according to time to treatment, severity of haemorrhage as assessed by systolic blood pressure, Glasgow coma score (GCS), and type of injury. All analyses were by intention to treat. The trial is registered as ISRCTN86750102, ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00375258, and South African Clinical Trial Register/Department of Health DOH-27-0607-1919.FINDINGS 10,096 patients were allocated to tranexamic acid and 10,115 to placebo, of whom 10,060 and 10,067, respectively, were analysed. 1063 deaths (35%) were due to bleeding. We recorded strong evidence that the effect of tranexamic acid on death due to bleeding varied according to the time from injury to treatment (test for interaction p<0.0001). Early treatment (<=1 h from injury) significantly reduced the risk of death due to bleeding (198/3747 [5.3%] events in tranexamic acid group vs 286/3704 [7.7%] in placebo group; relative risk [RR] 0.68, 95% CI 0.57-0.82; p<0.0001). Treatment given between 1 and 3 h also reduced the risk of death due to bleeding (147/3037 [4.8%] vs 184/2996 [6.1%]; RR 0.79, 0.64-0.97; p=0.03). Treatment given after 3 h seemed to increase the risk of death due to bleeding (144/3272 [4.4%] vs 103/3362 [3.1%]; RR 1.44, 1.12-1.84; p=0.004). We recorded no evidence that the effect of tranexamic acid on death due to bleeding varied by systolic blood pressure, Glasgow coma score, or type of injury.INTERPRETATION Tranexamic acid should be given as early as possible to bleeding trauma patients. For trauma patients admitted late after injury, tranexamic acid is less effective and could be harmful.FUNDING UK NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme, Pfizer, BUPA Foundation, and J P Moulton Charitable Foundation.