Characterizing red blood cell age exposure in massive transfusion therapy: the scalar age of blood index (SBI)

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND: The mortality of trauma patients requiring massive transfusion to treat hemorrhagic shock approaches 17% at 24 hours and 26% at 30 days. The use of stored RBCs is limited to less than 42 days, so older RBCs are delivered first to rapidly bleeding trauma patients. Patients who receive a greater quantity of older RBCs may have a higher risk for mortality. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Characterizing blood age exposure requires accounting for the age of each RBC unit and the quantity of transfused units. To address this challenge, a novel Scalar Age of Blood Index (SBI) that represents the relative distribution of RBCs received is introduced and applied to a secondary analysis of the Pragmatic, Randomized Optimal Platelet and Plasma Ratios (PROPPR) randomized controlled trial (NCT01545232, The effect of the SBI is assessed on the primary PROPPR outcome, 24-hour and 30-day mortality. RESULTS: The distributions of blood storage ages successfully maps to a parameter (SBI) that fully defines the blood age curve for each patient. SBI was a significant predictor of 24-hour and 30-day mortality in an adjusted model that had strong predictive ability (odds ratio, 1.15 [1.01-1.29], p = 0.029, C-statistic, 0.81; odds ratio, 1.14 [1.02-1.28], p = 0.019, C-statistic, 0.88, respectively). CONCLUSION: SBI is a simple scalar metric of blood age that accounts for the relative distribution of RBCs among age categories. Transfusion of older RBCs is associated with 24-hour and 30-day mortality, after adjustment for total units and clinical covariates.
  • Published In

  • Transfusion  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 21098656
  • Author List

  • DeSantis SM; Brown DW; Jones AR; Yamal JM; Pittet JF; Patel RP; Wade CE; Holcomb JB; Wang H
  • Start Page

  • 2699
  • End Page

  • 2708
  • Volume

  • 59
  • Issue

  • 8