ABSTRACT: Resuscitation of patients presenting with hemorrhagic shock after major trauma has evolved to incorporate multiple strategies to maintain tissue perfusion and oxygenation while managing coagulation disorders. We aimed to study changes across time in long-term outcomes in patients with major trauma. A retrospective observational study in a single major trauma center in Australia was conducted.
We included all patients with major trauma and massive blood transfusion within the first 24 h during a 6-year period (from 2006 to 2011). The main outcome measures were Glasgow Outcome Score–Extended (GOSE) and work capacity at 6 and 12 months. There were 5,915 patients with major trauma of which 365 (6.2%; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 5.6 – 6.8) received a massive transfusion. The proportion of major trauma patients receiving a massive transfusion decreased across time from 8.2% to 4.4% (P < 0.01). There were statistically significant trends toward lower volumes of red blood cell transfusion and higher ratios of fresh-frozen plasma to red blood cells (P < 0.01). Among massively transfused patients, there was no significant change in measured outcomes during the study period, with a persistent 23% mortality in hospital, 52% unfavorable GOSE at 6 months, and 44% unfavorable GOSE at 12 months. Massive transfusion was independently associated with unfavorable outcomes at 6 months after injury (adjusted odds ratio, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.05 – 2.31) but not at 12 months (adjusted odds ratio, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.72 – 1.01). A significant reduction in massive transfusion rates was observed. Unfavorable long-term outcomes among patients receiving a massive transfusion after trauma were frequent with a substantial proportion of survivors experiencing poor functional status 1 year after injury.