Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Prophylactic Plasma Transfusion Is Not Associated With Decreased Red Blood Cell Requirements in Critically Ill Patients

Buy Article:

$62.00 + tax (Refund Policy)


Critically ill patients frequently receive plasma transfusion under the assumptions that abnormal coagulation test results confer increased risk of bleeding and that plasma transfusion will decrease this risk. However, the effect of prophylactic plasma transfusion remains poorly understood. The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between prophylactic plasma transfusion and bleeding complications in critically ill patients.


This is a retrospective cohort study of adults admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) at a single academic institution between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2013. Inclusion criteria included age ≥18 years and an international normalized ratio measured during ICU admission. Multivariable propensity-matched analyses were used to evaluate associations between prophylactic plasma transfusion and outcomes of interest with a primary outcome of red blood cell transfusion in the ensuing 24 hours and secondary outcomes of hospital- and ICU-free days and mortality within 30 days of ICU discharge.


A total of 27,561 patients were included in the investigation with 2472 (9.0%) receiving plasma therapy and 1105 (44.7%) for which plasma transfusion was prophylactic in nature. In multivariable propensity-matched analyses, patients receiving plasma had higher rates of red blood cell transfusion (odds ratio: 4.3 [95% confidence interval: 3.3–5.7], P < .001) and fewer hospital-free days (estimated % increase: −11.0% [95% confidence interval: −11.4, −10.6%], P < .001). There were no significant differences in ICU-free days or mortality. These findings appeared robust, persisting in multiple predefined sensitivity analyses.


Prophylactic administration of plasma in the critically ill was not associated with improved clinical outcomes. Further investigation examining the utility of plasma transfusion in this population is warranted.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2017

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more