Objectives: To present the recommendations and supporting literature for selection and processing of RBC products in critically ill children developed by the Pediatric Critical Care Transfusion and Anemia Expertise Initiative.
Design: Consensus conference series of international, multidisciplinary experts in RBC transfusion management of critically ill children METHODS:: The panel of 38 experts developed evidence-based, and when evidence was lacking, expert-based clinical recommendations as well as research priorities for RBC transfusions in critically ill children. The RBC processing subgroup included five experts. Electronic searches were conducted using PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases from 1980 to May 2017. Agreement was obtained using the Research and Development/UCLA Appropriateness Method. Results were summarized using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation method.
Results: Five recommendations reached agreement (> 80%). Irradiated cellular products are recommended for children at risk of transfusion-associated graft versus host disease due to severe congenital or acquired causes of immune deficiency or when the blood donor is a blood relative. Washed cellular blood components and avoidance of other plasma-containing products are recommended for critically ill children with history of severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis to blood transfusions, although patient factors appear to be important in the pathogenesis of reactions. For children with history of severe allergic transfusion reactions, evaluation for allergic stigmata prior to transfusion is recommended. In children with severe immunoglobulin A deficiency with evidence of antiimmunoglobulin A antibodies and/or a history of a severe transfusion reaction, immunoglobulin A-deficient blood components obtained either from an immunoglobulin A-deficient donor and/or washed cellular components is recommended.
Conclusions: The Transfusion and Anemia Expertise Initiative consensus conference developed recommendations for selection and processing of RBC units for critically ill children. Recommendations in this area are largely based on pediatric and adult case report data.