RePHILL: protocol for a randomised controlled trial of pre-hospital blood product resuscitation for trauma

Transfus Med. 2018 Oct;28(5):346-356. doi: 10.1111/tme.12486. Epub 2017 Nov 28.


Objectives: To describe the 'Resuscitation with Pre-HospItaL bLood products' trial (RePHILL) - a multi-centre randomised controlled trial of pre-hospital blood product (PHBP) administration vs standard care for traumatic haemorrhage.

Background: PHBP are increasingly used for pre-hospital trauma resuscitation despite a lack of robust evidence demonstrating superiority over crystalloids. Provision of PHBP carries additional logistical and regulatory implications, and requires a sustainable supply of universal blood components.

Methods: RePHILL is a multi-centre, two-arm, parallel group, open-label, phase III randomised controlled trial currently underway in the UK. Patients attended by a pre-hospital emergency medical team, with traumatic injury and hypotension (systolic blood pressure <90 mmHg or absent radial pulse) believed to be due to traumatic haemorrhage are eligible. Exclusion criteria include age <16 years, blood product receipt on scene prior to randomisation, Advanced Medical Directive forbidding blood product administration, pregnancy, isolated head injury and prisoners. A total of 490 patients will be recruited in a 1 : 1 ratio to receive either the intervention (up to two units of red blood cells and two units of lyophilised plasma) or the control (up to four boluses of 250 mL 0.9% saline). The primary outcome measure is a composite of failure to achieve lactate clearance of ≥20%/h over the first 2 hours after randomisation and all-cause mortality between recruitment and discharge from the primary receiving facility to non-acute care. Secondary outcomes include pre-hospital time, coagulation indices, in-hospital transfusion requirements and morbidity.

Results: Pilot study recruitment began in December 2016. Approval to proceed to the main trial was received in June 2017. Recruitment is expected to continue until 2020.

Conclusions: RePHILL will provide high-quality evidence regarding the efficacy and safety of PHBP resuscitation for trauma.

Keywords: blood transfusion; emergency medical services; haemorrhage; randomised controlled trial; wounds and injuries.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol
  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Blood Component Transfusion*
  • Crystalloid Solutions / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Resuscitation*
  • United Kingdom
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*


  • Crystalloid Solutions