High transfusion ratios are not associated with increased complication rates in patients with severe extremity injuries

Philbert Y. Van, Chitra N. Sambasivan, Charles E. Wade, John A. Jones, John B. Holcomb, Martin A. Schreiber, Lorne H. Blackbourne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: High transfusion ratios of plasma to packed red blood cells (>1:2) have been associated with increased survival and increased complications in patients receiving massive transfusion (MT). We hypothesized that high ratio transfusion would be associated with no survival benefit and increased complications in combat victims with compressible hemorrhage. Methods: A retrospective analysis of soldiers injured in the current conflict during 5 years (n = 2,105) who received blood was performed on those with isolated extremity (abbreviated injury scale extremity score ≥3 and abbreviated injury scale score 0-2 in all other regions) injury comparing those who received a MT with those who did not. Transfusion ratios in the first 24 hours were correlated with outcomes. Results: Injury severity score (14.6 vs. 12.1; p < 0.05), international normalized ratio (1.65 vs. 1.28; p < 0.05), and base deficit (8.0 vs. 3.7; p < 0.05) were higher in the MT group. High transfusion ratios were associated with a trend toward decreased mortality (17.2% vs. 6.9%; p = 0.07) in MT patients and no increased complications (20.7% vs. 26.4%; p > 0.05). In those receiving a non-MT, high ratios were associated with similar mortality (4.8% vs. 3.9%; p > 0.05) and complications (12.4% vs. 9.2%; p > 0.05). Conclusions: Extremity injured patients receiving MT may benefit from high transfusion ratios and do not experience increased complications. No change in mortality or complications was observed in non-MT patients across transfusions ratios. High transfusion ratios are not associated with increased complications in patients with isolated extremity injury regardless of whether a MT is required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S64-S67
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Combat injuries
  • Damage control resuscitation
  • Extremity injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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