Whole blood is the preferred product for resuscitation of severe traumatic hemorrhage. It contains all the elements of blood that are necessary for oxygen delivery and hemostasis, in nearly physiologic ratios and concentrations. Group O whole blood that contains low titers of anti-A and anti-B antibodies (low titer group O whole blood) can be safely transfused as a universal blood product to patients of unknown blood group, facilitating rapid treatment of exsanguinating patients. Whole blood can be stored under refrigeration for up to 35 days, during which it retains acceptable hemostatic function, though supplementation with specific blood components, coagulation factors or other adjuncts may be necessary in some patients. Fresh whole blood can be collected from pre-screened donors in a walking blood bank to provide effective resuscitation when fully tested stored whole blood or blood components are unavailable and the need for transfusion is urgent. Available clinical data suggest that whole blood is at least equivalent if not superior to component therapy in the resuscitation of life-threatening hemorrhage. Low titer group O whole blood can be considered the standard of care in resuscitation of major hemorrhage.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health