Prehospital blood transfusion in prolonged evacuation

Yaniv Barkana, Michael Stein*, Ron Maor, Mauricio Lynn, Arieh Eldad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Prehospital blood transfusion for hemorrhaging trauma patients has been used infrequently and is controversial. Currently, there is no satisfactory nonsanguineons fluid therapy for use during prolonged transport, such as in military or rural trauma. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed prehospital data and hospital charts of all trauma patients in Israel who had received prehospital blood transfusion during a period of 30 months. Results: Forty patients received 60 U of Rh-positive type O packed red blood cells. Mean time from injury to hospital admission was 120 minutes. Twenty-one of 31 patients admitted to the hospital alive (68%) received additional blood transfusions during the initial resuscitation phase, justifying the prehospital transfusion. Of nine documented admissions with hemoglobin of less than 7 g/dL, one patient died of exsanguination. There was one case of a minor adverse reaction that could be attributed to prehospital transfusion. Conclusion: Prehospital blood transfusion is justified in certain trauma patients, especially when long prehospital transport is required. Blood may be safely maintained and used by physicians with little experience in care of major trauma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-180
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Trauma
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes


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