Early aggressive use of fresh frozen plasma does not improve outcome in critically injured trauma patients

Ann Surg. 2008 Oct;248(4):578-84. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e31818990ed.


Objectives: Recent data from Iraq supporting early aggressive use of fresh frozen plasma (FFP) in a 1:1 ratio to packed red blood cells (PRBCs) has led many civilian trauma centers to adopt this resource intensive strategy.

Methods: Prospective data were collected on 806 consecutive trauma patients admitted to the intensive care unit over 2 years. Patients were stratified by PRBC:FFP transfusion ratio over the first 24 hours. Stepwise regression models were performed controlling for age, gender, mechanism of injury, injury severity, and acute physiology and chronic health evaluation (APACHE) 2 score to determine if early aggressive use of PRBC:FFP improved outcome.

Results: Seventy-seven percent of patients were male (N = 617) and 85% sustained blunt injury (n = 680). Mean age, injury severity score (ISS), and APACHE score were 43 +/- 20 years, 29 +/- 13, and 13 +/- 7, respectively. Mean number of PRBCs and FFP transfused were 7.7 +/- 12 U, 6 U, and 5 +/- 12 U, respectively. Three hundred sixty-five (45%) patients were transfused in the first 24 hours. Sixty-eight percent (n = 250) of them received both PRBCs and FFP. Analyzing these patients by stepwise regression controlling for all significant variables, the PRBC:FFP ratio did not predict intensive care unit days, hospital days, or mortality even in patients who received massive transfusion (> or = 10 U). Furthermore, there was no significant difference in outcome when comparing patients who had a 1:1 PRBC:FFP ratio with those who did not receive any FFP.

Conclusion: Early and aggressive use of FFP does not improve outcome after civilian injury. This may reflect inherent differences compared with military injury; however, this practice should be reevaluated.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Component Transfusion / methods*
  • Critical Care / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Plasma*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Trauma Centers
  • Trauma Severity Indices
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wounds and Injuries / diagnosis
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*