Emergency sternal intraosseous access for warm fresh whole blood transfusion in damage control resuscitation

Christopher Kalhagen Bjerkvig*, Theodor Kaurin Fosse, Torunn Oveland Apelseth, Joar Sivertsen, Hanne Braathen, Håkon Skogrand Eliassen, Anne Berit Guttormsen, Andrew P. Cap, Geir Strandenes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Intraosseous (IO) vascular access is increasingly used as an emergency tool for achieving access to the systemic circulation in critically ill patients. The role of IO transfusion of blood in damage control resuscitation is however questionable due to possible inadequate flow rate and hemolysis. Some experts claim that IO transfusion is contraindicated. In this study, we have challenged this statement by looking at flow rates of autologous fresh whole blood reinfusion and hemolysis using two of the commonly used Food and Drug Administration–approved and Conformité Européenne (CE)-marked sternal needles. Additionally, the success rate of sternal access between the two devices is evaluated. METHODS: Volunteer professional military personnel, were enrolled prospectively in a nonrandomized observational study design. We collected 450 mL of autologous whole blood from each participant. Participants were divided into the following three groups of 10: Tactically Advanced Lifesaving IO Needle (T.A.L.O.N.) IO, FAST1 IO, and intravenous group. The reinfusion was done by gravity only. Blood sampling was performed before blood collection and 30 minutes after reinfusion. Investigation of hemolysis was performed by measurements of haptoglobin and lactate dehydrogenase. Success rate was evaluated by correct aspiration of bone marrow. RESULTS: Median reinfusion rate was 46.2 mL/min in the FAST1 group, 32.4 mL/min in the T.A.L.O.N. group, and 74.1 mL/min in the intravenous group. Blood samples from all participants were within normal ranges. There was no statistically significant difference in haptoglobin and lactate dehydrogenase between the groups. In the FAST1 group, 1 (9%) of 11 procedures failed. In the T.A.L.O.N. group, 4 (29%) of 14 procedures failed. CONCLUSION: Although preferable, achieving peripheral venous access in the bleeding patient is a major problem. Our findings suggest that fresh whole-blood transfusion through the IO route is safe, reliable, and provide sufficient flow for resuscitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S120-S124
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number6 S
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Damage control resuscitation
  • Emergency transfusion
  • Hemorrhagic shock
  • Hemostatic resuscitation
  • Intraosseous access
  • Intraosseous needle
  • Remote damage control resuscitation
  • Sternal intraosseous needle


Dive into the research topics of 'Emergency sternal intraosseous access for warm fresh whole blood transfusion in damage control resuscitation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this