A regional massive hemorrhage protocol developed through a modified Delphi technique

CMAJ Open. 2019 Sep 3;7(3):E546-E561. doi: 10.9778/cmajo.20190042. Print 2019 Jul-Sep.


Background: A massive hemorrhage protocol (MHP) enables rapid delivery of blood components in a patient who is exsanguinating pending definitive hemorrhage control, but there is variability in MHP implementation rates, content and compliance owing to challenges presented by infrequent activation, variable team performance and patient acuity. The goal of this project was to identify the key evidence-based principles and quality indicators required to develop a standardized regional MHP.

Methods: A modified Delphi consensus technique was performed in the spring and summer of 2018. Panellists used survey links to independently review and rate (on a 7-point Likert scale) 43 statements and 8 quality indicators drafted by a steering committee composed of transfusion medicine specialists and technologists, and trauma physicians. External stakeholder input from all hospitals in Ontario was sought.

Results: Three rounds were held with 36 experts from diverse clinical backgrounds. Consensus was reached for 42 statements and 8 quality indicators. Additional modifications from external stakeholders were incorporated to form the foundation for the proposed MHP.

Interpretation: This MHP template will provide the basis for the design of an MHP toolkit, including specific recommendations for pediatric and obstetrical patients, and for hospitals with limited availability of blood components or means to achieve definitive hemorrhage control. We believe that harmonization of MHPs in our region will simplify training, increase uptake of evidence-based interventions, enhance communication, improve patient comfort and safety, and, ultimately, improve patient outcomes.