New ‘one bag’ product saves trauma patients’ lives | Our news

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New ‘one bag’ product saves trauma patients’ lives

New research shows a new blood product combining red blood cells and plasma in one bag increases the chances of surviving a major trauma injury.

The study, carried out by Barts Health NHS Trust, NHS Blood and Transplant and, Queen Mary University London, was published today (2 Feb) in the journal Critical Care.

The study involved 909 patients who had experienced a major trauma injury that caused them to lose a lot of blood, and who were treated by the London Air Ambulance.

Typically, these patients would be given just red blood cells or separate transfusions of red blood cells and plasma, the liquid part of the blood that helps it to clot.

Red blood cells and plasma in one bag

New 'one bag' blood product containing plasma and red blood cells in one single bag

Researchers in this study wanted to see if giving one single transfusion that combined red blood cells and plasma in one single bag had any impact on survival.

They found that patients who were given the single, ‘one bag’ transfusion of red blood cells and plasma combined were 1.5 times more likely to survive the first 24 hours than those given either just red blood cells or separate transfusions of red blood cells and plasma.

While larger clinical trials that involve more patients are needed to confirm these findings, the study shows that having one single bag that contains red blood cells and plasms is not only more convenient for staff in air ambulances but also benefits patients.

 Dr Laura Green, a consultant haematologist at Barts Health NHS Trust and chief investigator of the study said: “The majority of trauma deaths are within three hours.

“We know patients benefit from getting not just red blood cells but also plasma but it’s difficult to quickly carry out multiple transfusions in an urgent pre-hospital setting – such as by the road side at night following a major crash, where a patient might have minutes to live.

“The study provides evidence that this new product, which contains both plasma and red blood cells unmixed in one bag, also saves more lives than just giving red blood cells alone.

“Now it can be explored further as a potential lifesaving new treatment which can be used outside of hospitals.”

This trial was funded by Barts CharityLondon's Air Ambulance, and NHS Blood and Transplant.

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Add a response »
  1. Berthold Alkofer Friday, 3 February 2023 at 09:39 AM

    Congratulations to Dr Laura Green and the team behind/with her.
    It always amazes me how a rather small step or improvement can have quite a significant change in outcomes, which is a double win, win-win, here.
    What amazes me far more though, almost puzzles me, is how anybody can have an idea to try something new or try something already set in a different way to improve things even further.
    What more can I say? Bravo, perhaps?

  2. Frank Chappell Friday, 3 February 2023 at 10:05 AM

    When I first saw this, I thought, hey, back in 1957 when I started in pathology,at the London Chest Hospital, that was standart, a bottle (as it was then ) of whole blood was transfused, and it was mixed before being transfused. Now, I read that it is given 'unmixed' , and found it saves more lives, Extraordinary. As an ex employee of Barts in Histology (1961-1964) I enjoy seeing all the incredible things that are happening in Barts Healtyh. Though I am on twitter, I cannot receive the pictures with tweets, but I'll work on it sonehow. Thanks for the tweets that I have been receiving. Kind regards. Frank Chappell

  3. Dr Colette Johnstone-Young Saturday, 4 February 2023 at 11:19 AM

    Excellent work and clearly a well-chosen study to undertake with precious resources and funding. Each side of that special bag when combined seemingly releases a hidden magic in trauma-medicine management. I for one hope that your research work can continue….

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