Association between in-ICU red blood cells transfusion and 1-year mortality in ICU survivors

Crit Care. 2022 Oct 7;26(1):307. doi: 10.1186/s13054-022-04171-1.


Background: Impact of in-ICU transfusion on long-term outcomes remains unknown. The purpose of this study was to assess in critical-care survivors the association between in-ICU red blood cells transfusion and 1-year mortality.

Methods: FROG-ICU, a multicenter European study enrolling all-comers critical care patients was analyzed (n = 1551). Association between red blood cells transfusion administered in intensive care unit and 1-year mortality in critical care survivors was analyzed using an augmented inverse probability of treatment weighting-augmented inverse probability of censoring weighting method to control confounders.

Results: Among the 1551 ICU-survivors, 42% received at least one unit of red blood cells while in intensive care unit. Patients in the transfusion group had greater severity scores than those in the no-transfusion group. According to unweighted analysis, 1-year post-critical care mortality was greater in the transfusion group compared to the no-transfusion group (hazard ratio (HR) 1.78, 95% CI 1.45-2.16). Weighted analyses including 40 confounders, showed that transfusion remained associated with a higher risk of long-term mortality (HR 1.21, 95% CI 1.06-1.46).

Conclusions: Our results suggest a high incidence of in-ICU RBC transfusion and that in-ICU transfusion is associated with a higher 1-year mortality among in-ICU survivors. Trial registration ( NCT01367093 ; Registered 6 June 2011).

Keywords: Critical care unit; Mortality; Transfusion.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Erythrocyte Transfusion*
  • Erythrocytes
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Survivors

Associated data