STandaRd Issue TrANsfusion versuS Fresher red blood cell Use in intenSive carE (TRANSFUSE) - a randomised controlled trial.

Red blood cell (RBC) transfusion is required to treat a number of life threatening conditions within the general hospital setting and Intensive Care Units (ICU). Red blood cell units represent a very limited but essential resource. Given the value and relative scarcity of RBC, it is important to ensure its use in the optimal way. A number of general factors currently direct blood. In Australia and Ireland blood for transfusion is considered to have a date of up to five to six weeks after collection. Therefore it is widespread practice to use the older products first before they; Therefore the actual age of blood that is used in each patient varies based on the rate of use and access to supply. Recent research has suggested that the fresher blood is associated with a better outcome for some patients. However this remains an area of debate and has major implications for the Blood Transfusion Services internationally. This project will test whether patients within the ICU who receive fresher blood actually do better than patients who receive standard issue older blood. Patients in the ICU who are receiving red blood cell transfusion as part of their normal clinical management will be given, randomly, either the freshest available blood or the standard aged blood in their hospital -as is current practice. No other aspect of their care will differ. If it can be shown that fresh blood improves survival in this very sick group, doctors will have a new treatment that may improve survival in our critically ill patients, However, in addition this study will ensure that Blood transfusion services can ensure their policies for recruitment of donors and allocation and storage of this product are based on the best available evidence.

Award Date
19 June 2014
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor Alistair Nichol
Host Institution
University College Dublin
Health Research Awards - Definitive Intervention