Defining when to initiate massive transfusion: a validation study of individual massive transfusion triggers in PROMMTT patients

J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2013 Jan;74(1):59-65, 67-8; discussion 66-7. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e3182788b34.


Background: Early predictors of massive transfusion (MT) would prevent undertriage of patients likely to require MT. This study validates triggers using the Prospective Observational Multicenter Major Trauma Transfusion (PROMMTT) study.

Methods: All enrolled patients in PROMMTT were analyzed. The initial emergency department value for each trigger (international normalized ratio [INR], systolic blood pressure, hemoglobin, base deficit, positive result for Focused Assessment for the Sonography of Trauma examination, heart rate, temperature, and penetrating injury mechanism) was compared for patients receiving MT (≥ 10 U of packed red blood cells in 24 hours) versus no MT. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for MT are reported using multiple logistic regression. If all triggers were known, a Massive Transfusion Score (MTS) was created, with 1 point assigned for each met trigger.

Results: A total of 1,245 patients were prospectively enrolled with 297 receiving an MT. Data were available for all triggers in 66% of the patients including 67% of the MTs (199 of 297). INR was known in 87% (1,081 of 1,245). All triggers except penetrating injury mechanism and heart rate were valid individual predictors of MT, with INR as the most predictive (adjusted OR, 2.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.7-3.7). For those with all triggers known, a positive INR trigger was seen in 49% receiving MT. Patients with an MTS of less than 2 were unlikely to receive MT (negative predictive value, 89%). If any two triggers were present (MTS ≥ 2), sensitivity for predicting MT was 85%. MT was present in 33% with an MTS of 2 greater compared with 11% of those with MTS of less than 2 (OR, 3.9; 95% confidence interval, 2.6-5.8; p < 0.0005).

Conclusion: Parameters that can be obtained early in the initial emergency department evaluation are valid predictors for determining the likelihood of MT.

Level of evidence: Diagnostic, level II.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Blood Transfusion*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Hemorrhage / therapy*
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans