Outcomes in Pediatric Trauma Patients Who Receive Blood Transfusion

Published:October 31, 2022DOI:


      • Complications due to blood transfusion are rare in pediatric trauma patients.
      • Certain complications are increased among those who receive massive transfusion.
      • Massive transfusion is an independent risk factor for DVT, AKI, CLABSI, and sepsis.
      • There are no differences in rates of complications based on age.



      Increased blood volumes, due to massive transfusion (MT), are known to be associated with both infectious and noninfectious adverse outcomes. The aim of this study was to assess the association between MT and outcomes in pediatric trauma patients, and, secondarily, determine if these outcomes are differential by age once MT is reached.


      Pediatric patients (ages 1-18 y old) in the ACS pediatric Trauma Quality Improvement Program (TQIP) database (2015-2018) who received blood were included. Patients were stratified by MT status, which was defined as blood product volume of 40 mL/kg within 24 h of admission (MT+) and compared to children who received blood products but did not meet the MT threshold (MT-). Defined MT + patients were matched 1:1 to MT-patients via propensity score matching of characteristics before comparisons. Adjusted logistic regression was performed on univariably significant outcomes of interest.


      There were 2318 patients in the analytic cohort. Patients who received MT had higher rates of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) (2.5% versus 1.0%, P < 0.001), acute kidney injury (AKI) (1.5% versus 0.0%, P = 0.022), CLABSI (4.0% versus 2.0% P = 0.008), and severe sepsis (2.3% versus. 1.1%, P = 0.02). On logistic regression MT was an independent risk factor for these outcomes. There was no differential effect of MT on these outcomes based on age.


      Outcomes associated with blood transfusion in pediatric trauma patients are low overall, but rates of DVT, AKI, CLABSI, and sepsis are higher in those who receive MT+ with no differences based on age.


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