Blood banks usually function by issuing the oldest available, patient-compatible products first. The goal is to preserve viability and functionality of cells and minimize waste of blood products. Previous studies have shown conflicting evidence as to whether transfusion of older blood products is related to increased mortality. Therefore, Cooper et al set out to determine whether transfusion of older red blood cells (RBC) increased mortality for critically ill patients.
Their study findings support the current practice of using the oldest available RBCs for transfusion of critically ill adults, since there does not seem to be a benefit of using the freshest available RBCs.
Read the full Concise Critical Appraisal by logging into the SCCM eCommunity. Concise Critical Appraisal is a regular feature aimed at highlighting the best and most relevant literature from a variety of academic journals and encouraging discussion around recent studies and research.