Background: Transfusion of allogenic blood products was shown to be associated with more adverse events and a higher mortality in severely burned patients. This study investigated the impact of a goal-directed and factor-based coagulation algorithm on blood product use and clinical outcomes in severely burned patients.
Methods: This retrospective cohort study included adult patients admitted to the burn center of the University Hospital Zurich with major burn injuries compromising 20-80% of total body surface area. We compared two 3-year periods, one before the introduction of a goal-directed coagulation and transfusion algorithm (period 1: 2009-2011) and one after (period 2: 2016-2018). We applied linear and logistic regression models adjusted for confounders.
Results: We analyzed 36 patients (27.8% female) versus 42 patients (14.3% female) in period 1 and 2, respectively. Comorbidities and burn types were comparable between both collectives. Treatment according to the coagulation algorithm resulted in an overall reduction of 33 units of red blood cells (95% CI -52.8 to -12.9, p = 0.002), 9 units fresh frozen plasma (95% CI -14.7 to -2.6, p = 0.006) and 1.4g fibrinogen (95% CI -2.2 to -0.5, p = 0.001) per patient. We observed less infections (61.8% vs. 41.5%, p = 0.11) and a reduced mortality (38.9% vs. 26.8%, p = 0.33) during the algorithm treated period, although not significant.
Conclusion: Treatment of severely burned patients with a goal-directed coagulation algorithm reduced blood product use and resulted in target-oriented administration of coagulation factors to improve outcomes.
Keywords: Burns; Coagulation algorithm; Hemorrhage; Patient Blood Management; Point-of-care systems.