There has been renewed interest in the use of low titer group O whole blood (LTOWB) for the resuscitation of civilian casualties. LTOWB offers several advantages over conventional components such as providing balanced resuscitation in one bag that contains less additive/preservative solution than an equivalent volume of conventional components, is easier and faster to transfuse than multiple components, avoids blood product ratio confusion, contains cold stored platelets, and reduces donor exposures. The resurgence in its use in the resuscitation of civilian trauma patients has led to the publication of an increasing number of studies on its use, primarily amongst adult recipients but also in pediatric patients. These studies have indicated that hemolysis does not occur amongst adult and pediatric non-group O recipients of a modest quantity of LTOWB. The published studies to date on mortality have shown conflicting results with some demonstrating a reduction following LTOWB transfusion while most others have not shown a reduction; there have not been any studies to date that have found significantly increased overall mortality amongst LTOWB recipients. Similarly, when other clinical outcomes, such as venous thromboembolism, sepsis, hospital or intensive care unit lengths of stay are evaluated, LTOWB recipients have not demonstrated worse outcomes compared to conventional component recipients. While definitive proof of the trends in these morbidity and mortality outcomes awaits confirmation in randomized controlled trials, the evidence to date indicates the safety of transfusing LTOWB to injured civilians.
- Low titer group O whole blood