Impact of Transfusion of Fresh-frozen Plasma and Packed Red Blood Cells in a 1:1 Ratio on Survival of Emergency Department Patients with Severe Trauma
ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2009; 16:1–8 © 2009 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine
Objectives: Coagulopathy is common after severe trauma and occurs very early after the initial insult. Some investigators have suggested early and aggressive treatment of the trauma-induced coagulopathy by transfusion of fresh-frozen plasma (FFP) and packed red blood cells (PRBC) in a 1:1 ratio. This evidence-based emergency medicine (EBM) review evaluates the evidence regarding the impact of 1:1 ratio of FFP:PRBC transfusion on survival of emergency department (ED) patients with severe trauma.
Methods: The MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and other databases were searched. Studies were selected for inclusion if they included trauma patients who required blood transfusion. The outcome measures of interest included mortality and adverse effects of high FFP:PRBC ratios. For comparison, the patients were classified into high ratio (1:1, defined as a ratio of 1:≤1.5) and low ratio (1:>1.5) groups.
Results: The authors did not identify any randomized controlled trials (RCT), but included four observational studies (three retrospective registry and one prospective cohort studies), which enrolled 1,511 patients cumulatively. One study found a statistically significant difference in mortality rate, favoring high FFP:PRBC ratio (relative risk = 0.72, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.59 to 0.89), while three studies showed no benefits. One study reported higher rates of sepsis and single/multiorgan failure (MOF), and another study revealed a higher risk of nosocomial infections and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in the high FFP:PRBC ratio group.
Conclusion: Three retrospective registry reviews with suboptimal methodologies and one prospective cohort study provide inadequate evidence to support or refute the use of a high FFP:PRBC ratio in patients with severe trauma.