How did we reform our out of control massive transfusion protocol program?

Brian D. Adkins, Theresa A. Libby, Marlene M. Mayberry, Thomas W. Brady, Justin B. Halls, Stephanie Mallow Corbett, Joseph Schoeny, Eric P. Shields, Jahan Chowdhury, Amanda N. Kinsinger-Stickel, Gay Wehrli, Nicholas R. Jaeger, Matthew P. Robertson, Kathy M. Butler, Stuart M. Lowson, James Forrest Calland, James D. Gorham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The massive transfusion protocol (MTP) is designed to quickly provide blood products at a fixed ratio for the exsanguinating patient. At our academic medical center, the frequency of MTP activation increased over 10-fold between 2008 and 2015, putting inordinate stress on our transfusion service. Study design and methods: Gathering a large number of relevant stakeholders, we performed a multidisciplinary root cause analysis (RCA) in response to the acute clinical need to reform our MTP. Results: Through the RCA, we identified four principal opportunities for improvement (OFI) associated with our MTP: education, stewardship, process improvement, and communication. Through the deployment of new approaches to each of these OFI, we reduced MTP activations, blood product waste, and transfusion service technologist stress. Conclusion: The MTP is amenable to improvement, and, although time intensive, the RCA process yields significant favorable effects: improving communication with colleagues, reducing stress within the transfusion service, and improving resource utilization. Activation of the MTP at our institution is now more aligned with its primary purpose: rapidly providing large quantities of blood products to exsanguinating patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3066-3074
Number of pages9
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • management
  • massive transfusion protocols
  • quality
  • transfusion practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Hematology


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