Massive transfusion of blood in the surgical patient

Surg Clin North Am. 2012 Apr;92(2):221-34, vii. doi: 10.1016/j.suc.2012.01.008.


Hemorrhage remains a leading cause of morbidity and death in both civilian and military trauma. Restoration of effective end-organ perfusion by stopping hemorrhage and restoring intravascular volume in such a way as to minimize acidosis, hypothermia, and coagulopathy, almost always requires the use of blood and/or blood-component therapy. The best method to manage life-threatening hemorrhage is to avoid the circumstance that prompted it or to mitigate blood loss early in the injury cycle; otherwise, blood replacement must suffice. This article reviews current understanding of massive transfusion, along with its attendant unintended consequences, in the management of patients with profound hemorrhage.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Preservation / methods
  • Blood Transfusion / methods*
  • Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Hemorrhage / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Care / methods*
  • Transfusion Reaction
  • Warfare
  • Wounds and Injuries / complications