Transfusion Monthly Podcast Compares Blood Use in Patients Receiving Whole Blood, Component Therapy

May 22, 2023

In the latest episode of the Transfusion Monthly Podcast, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital join to discuss findings from a recent before-and-after study that compared blood utilization and patient outcomes associated with the emergency-release of uncrossmatched packed red blood cells (pRBCS) and uncrossmatched low-titer group O whole blood (LTOWB).

In this single-center study, Kristen Ruby, DO, MPH; Robert S. Makar, MD, PhD; and their co-investigators found that patients who initially received emergency-release uncrossmatched LTOWB received more volume of blood at 24 hours and seven days compared with patients who initially received uncrossmatched pRBCS. Results also indicated that initial use of LTOWB was not associated with improved 24-hour or 30-day survival compared with pRBCs.

In a discussion with host Yara Park, MD, Ruby and Makar described how Mass General’s 2019 process change from administering emergency-release of uncrossmatched pRBCs to uncrossmatched LTOWB catalyzed the study. Prior to April 2019, patients received uncrossmatched pRBCs followed by component therapy.

Ruby and Makar also discussed what factors may have contributed to the increased blood volume in the LTOWB group, outcomes in the massively transfused subgroup, and how findings from this study compare to results of other studies of LTOWB. The episode concludes with Ruby and Makar sharing their advice for centers considering the use of LTOWB and the logistical benefits that its use could entail.