TiME OUT: Time-specific machine-learning evaluation to optimize ultramassive transfusion

Courtney H. Meyer*, Jonathan Nguyen, Andrew Elhabr, Nethra Venkatayogi, Tyler Steed, Judy Gichoya, Jason D. Sciarretta, James Sikora, Christopher Dente, John Lyons, Craig M. Coopersmith, Crystal Nguyen, Randi N. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND Ultramassive transfusion (UMT) is a resource-demanding intervention for trauma patients in hemorrhagic shock, and associated mortality rates remains high. Current research has been unable to identify a transfusion ceiling or point where UMT transitions from lifesaving to futility. Furthermore, little consideration has been given to how time-specific patient data points impact decisions with ongoing high-volume resuscitation. Therefore, this study sought to use time-specific machine learning modeling to predict mortality and identify parameters associated with survivability in trauma patients undergoing UMT. METHODS A retrospective review was conducted at a Level I trauma (2018-2021) and included trauma patients meeting criteria for UMT, defined as ≥20 red blood cell products within 24 hours of admission. Cross-sectional data were obtained from the blood bank and trauma registries, and time-specific data were obtained from the electronic medical record. Time-specific decision-tree models predicating mortality were generated and evaluated using area under the curve. RESULTS In the 180 patients included, mortality rate was 40.5% at 48 hours and 52.2% overall. The deceased received significantly more blood products with a median of 71.5 total units compared with 55.5 in the survivors (p < 0.001) and significantly greater rates of packed red blood cells and fresh frozen plasma at each time interval. Time-specific decision-tree models predicted mortality with an accuracy as high as 81%. In the early time intervals, hemodynamic stability, undergoing an emergency department thoracotomy, and injury severity were most predictive of survival, while, in the later intervals, markers of adequate resuscitation such as arterial pH and lactate level became more prominent. CONCLUSION This study supports that the decision of "when to stop"in UMT resuscitation is not based exclusively on the number of units transfused but rather the complex integration of patient and time-specific data. Machine learning is an effective tool to investigate this concept, and further research is needed to refine and validate these time-specific decision-tree models. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Prognostic and Epidemiological; Level IV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-454
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Ultramassive transfusion
  • massive transfusion
  • resuscitation


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