Defining when to initiate massive transfusion: A validation study of individual massive transfusion triggers in PROMMTT patients

Rachael A. Callcut*, Bryan A. Cotton, Peter Muskat, Erin E. Fox, Charles E. Wade, John B. Holcomb, Martin A. Schreiber, Mohammad H. Rahbar, Mitchell J. Cohen, M. Margaret Knudson, Karen J. Brasel, Eileen M. Bulger, Deborah J. Del Junco, John G. Myers, Louis H. Alarcon, Bryce R.H. Robinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Early predictors of massive transfusion (MT) would prevent undertriage of patients likely to require MT. This study validates triggers using the Prospective Observational Multicenter Major Trauma Transfusion (PROMMTT) study. METHODS: All enrolled patients in PROMMTT were analyzed. The initial emergency department value for each trigger (international normalized ratio [INR], systolic blood pressure, hemoglobin, base deficit, positive result for Focused Assessment for the Sonography of Trauma examination, heart rate, temperature, and penetrating injury mechanism) was compared for patients receiving MT (≥10 U of packed red blood cells in 24 hours) versus no MT. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for MT are reported using multiple logistic regression. If all triggers were known, a Massive Transfusion Score (MTS) was created, with 1 point assigned for each met trigger. RESULTS: A total of 1,245 patients were prospectively enrolled with 297 receiving an MT. Data were available for all triggers in 66% of the patients including 67% of the MTs (199 of 297). INR was known in 87% (1,081 of 1,245). All triggers except penetrating injury mechanism and heart rate were valid individual predictors of MT, with INR as the most predictive (adjusted OR, 2.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.7-3.7). For those with all triggers known, a positive INR trigger was seen in 49% receiving MT. Patients with an MTS of less than 2 were unlikely to receive MT (negative predictive value, 89%). If any two triggers were present (MTS ≥ 2), sensitivity for predicting MT was 85%. MT was present in 33% with an MTS of 2 greater compared with 11% of those with MTS of less than 2 (OR, 3.9; 95% confidence interval, 2.6-5.8; p < 0.0005). CONCLUSION: Parameters that can be obtained early in the initial emergency department evaluation are valid predictors for determining the likelihood of MT. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Diagnostic, level II.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-68
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • INR
  • massive transfusion
  • transfusion triggers


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