Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Age of transfused blood in critically ill adults. NEJM April 2015.

This large multicenter RCT compared the transfusion of fresh red cells (stored for less than 8 days) with standard-issue red cells (the oldest compatible units available in the blood bank, up to 42 days) in patients admitted to ICU. It found no significant difference in the primary outcome of 90-day mortality, and also no significant differences in secondary outcomes of major illness, duration of respiratory haemodynamic or renal support, length of stay in hospital, transfusion reactions. This differs from the finding of a systematic review (Wang 2012) of 18 observational studies of 409840 patients and 3 RCTs of 126 patients which suggest transfusion of older red cells, as compared with new red cells was associated with a 16% increase in the risk of death.

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