The art of fluid administration and hemodynamic support is one of the most challenging aspects of treating critically ill patients. Transfusions of blood products continue to be an important technique for resuscitating patients in the intensive care settings. Concerns about the rate of inappropriate transfusion exist, particularly given the recognized risks of transfusions and the decreasing availability of donor blood. We investigated the current transfusion practice in the critically ill patients at our hospital.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 1817 consecutive critically ill patients admitted between January 2006 and December 2006 were included in this retrospective study. The blood request forms of the patients were analyzed, and their pretransfusion investigations, indications for transfusions, etc. were studied.
Nine hundred and eleven (50.1%) critically ill patients, comprising 71.6% males and 28.4% females, received blood/blood components. About 43.8% patients were administered packed red cells (PRC), 18.27% fresh frozen plasma (FFP) and 8.4% transfused platelets. Among those receiving PRC, 31.1% had a pretransfusion Hb below 7.5g%, 34.4% had Hb between 7.5 and 9g%, while 21.4% had Hb above 9g%. Among those receiving FFP, 14.5% had an international normalized ratio INR < 1.5, and 19% had a pretransfusion platelet count above 50,000/cumm. During the study, there were 7% of the patients who received red cells and FFP, 2% of the patients received red cells and platelets, 1% of the patients received platelets and FFP, and 5% of the patients had received all the three components, i.e., red cells, FFP and Platelets. The baseline investigations and/or clinical indications were not mentioned in 13.1% of patients receiving PRC, 57% receiving FFP and 49.7% receiving platelets.
About 21.4% of PRC, 14.5% of FFP, and 19% of platelets were inappropriately indicated. Clinicians in our centre were conservative in keeping with recent transfusion guidelines. A significant number of blood request forms were still incomplete with baseline investigations not mentioned in the request forms.