Effects of transfusing older red blood cells and platelets on obstetric patient outcomes: A retrospective cohort study

Obonyo NG, Lu LY, White NM, Sela DP, Rachakonda RH, Teo D, Tunbridge M, Sim B, See Hoe LE, Fanning JP, Tung JP, McKnoulty M, Bassi GL, Suen JY, Fraser JF
Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2023;

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OBJECTIVE: To investigate associations between transfusion of blood products close to the end of shelf-life and clinical outcomes in obstetric inpatients. METHODS: Mortality and morbidity were compared in patients transfused exclusively with red blood cells (RBC) stored for less than 21 days (fresh) versus RBC stored for 35 days or longer (old), and platelets (PLT) stored for 3 days or fewer (fresh) versus 4 days or longer (old) in Queensland, Australia from 2007 to 2013. Multivariable models were used to examine associations between these groups of blood products and clinical end points. RESULTS: There were 3371 patients who received RBC and 280 patients who received PLT of the eligible storage durations. Patients transfused with old RBC received fewer transfusions (2.7 ± 1.8 vs. 2.3 ± 1.0 units; P < 0.001). However, a higher rate of single-unit transfusions was also seen in those patients who exclusively received old RBC (252 [9.3%] vs. 92 [13.7%]; P = 0.003). Comparison of fresh vs. old blood products revealed no differences in the quantities of transfused RBC (9.5 ± 5.9 vs. 9.1 ± 5.2 units; P = 0.680) or PLT (1.5 ± 0.8 vs. 1.4 ± 1.1 units; P = 0.301) as well as the length of hospital stay for RBC (3 [2-5] vs. 3 [2-5] days; P = 0.124) or PLT (5 [4-8] vs. 6 [4-9] days; P = 0.120). CONCLUSION: Transfusing exclusively older RBC or PLT was not associated with increased morbidity or mortality.