Prehospital blood transfusions in pediatric trauma and nontrauma patients: a single-center review of safety and outcomes

Aodhnait S. Fahy, Cornelius A. Thiels, Stephanie F. Polites, Maile Parker, Michael B. Ishitani, Christopher R. Moir, Kathleen Berns, James R. Stubbs, Donald H. Jenkins, Scott P. Zietlow, Martin D. Zielinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Purpose: Prehospital transfusions are a novel yet increasingly accepted intervention in the adult population as part of remote damage control resuscitation, but prehospital transfusions remain controversial in children. Our purpose was to review our pediatric prehospital transfusion experience over 12 years to describe the safety of prehospital transfusion in appropriately triaged trauma and nontrauma patients. Methods: Children (<18 years) transfused with packed red blood cells (pRBC) or plasma during transport to a single regional academic medical center between 2002 and 2014 were identified. Admission details, in-hospital clinical course, and outcomes were analyzed. Results: 28 children were transfused during transport; median age was 8.9 ± 7 years and 15 patients were male (54%). Most patients required at least one additional unit of blood products during their hospitalization (79%), and/or required operative intervention (53%), endoscopy (7%), or died during their hospitalization (14%). Comparison of trauma patients (n = 16) and nontrauma patients (n = 12) revealed that nontrauma patients were younger, more anemic, more coagulopathy on admission, and required more ongoing transfusion in the hospital. Trauma patients were more likely to need operative intervention. No patient had a transfusion reaction. Conclusion: Remote damage control prehospital transfusions of blood products were safe in this small group of appropriately triaged pediatric patients. Further studies are needed to determine if outcomes are improved and to devise a rigorous protocol for this prehospital intervention for critically ill pediatric patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)787-792
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Surgery International
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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