How well does your massive transfusion protocol perform? A scoping review of quality indicators

Brenton Sanderson, Enrico Coiera, Lia Asrianti, Jeremy Field, Lise J. Estcourt, Erica M. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background - Management of patients with major haemorrhage often requires urgent administration of multiple blood products, commonly termed a massive transfusion (MT). Clinical practice in these scenarios is supported in part by evidence-based MT guidelines, which typically recommend use of an MT protocol (MTP). MTPs aim to provide practical and specific interpretation of MT guidelines for local institutional use, outlining tasks and pre-configuration of blood product packs to be transfused to provide efficient and evidence-based transfusion management. Institutions can support this aim by the measurement of MTP performance and patient outcomes through collection of quality indicators (QI). Many international guidelines now recommend the routine collection of a range of QIs relating to MT/MTP; however, there is significant variation in procedures and no benchmarks or minimal evidence to guide practice.
Materials and methods - We conducted a scoping review to document and evaluate reported QIs for MTP. We conducted a search of CENTRAL, MEDLINE and EMBASE for published studies from inception until May 14, 2020, that reported at least one MTP QI and use of an MTP or equivalent protocol. Included studies were evaluated using a QI classification system based on current MT QI guidelines and the Donabedian QI framework.
Results - We identified 107 eligible studies. Trauma patients were the most commonly evaluated group, and total blood products transfused and in- hospital mortality were the most commonly reported QIs. Reflecting the lack of international consensus and benchmarks, we found significant variability in the reporting of QIs, which often did not reflect guideline recommendations. Discussion - Our review highlights the importance of establishing international consensus on prioritised QIs with quantifiable targets that are important to the process of MT.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-433
Number of pages11
JournalBlood Transfusion
Issue number6
Early online date18 Sep 2020
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • blood transfusion
  • quality indicators
  • quality improvement
  • haemorrhage
  • healthcare


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