Background: The treatment of coagulopathy and bleeding in severe trauma requires rapid delivery of large amounts of plasma to emergency wards. The resulting need for adequate supplies of nonfrozen or thawed plasma has consequences for storage strategies. Using extensive population data from a setting where both fresh-frozen plasma (FFP) and cold-stored liquid plasma were used, this study investigates whether there is an association between short-term mortality after receipt of FFP or liquid plasma of different storage times.
Methods: A cohort of 84,986 Swedish patients was followed up from first recorded allogenic plasma transfusion for 14-day mortality. Associations with exposure to FFP were expressed as relative risks adjusted for patient characteristics, total transfusions, hospital, and calendar year. For non-FFP, the units given to patients who died and matched patients who survived were compared for their duration of storage.
Results: The relative risk of exposure to FFP was 1.19 (95% confidence interval: 1.12-1.27, p < 0.0001), with the risk elevation confined to the earlier calendar years of the study. There was no evidence of any effect of storage time of non-FFP. In analyses of all plasma types, FFP from male donors had lowest risk.
Conclusions: Compared with exclusive use of never-frozen plasma, FFP was associated with increased short-term mortality in the era before leukocyte depletion. FFP from female donors had a significantly higher risk than male FFP. For non-FFP, duration of storage was unrelated to mortality. These findings can help to inform policies for managing high plasma demand in critical care.