A Review of Whole Blood: Current Trauma Reports

  • Jared R. GallaherEmail author
  • Martin A. Schreiber
Hemostasis after Trauma (N Saillant, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Hemostasis after Trauma


Purpose of Review

Interest in whole blood transfusion, particularly in trauma resuscitations, has been growing over the last decade. This has led to more data from civilian trauma centers on the efficacy of whole blood compared to component therapy, the safety profile, and the hemostatic effects of cold-storage.

Recent Findings

The summation of recent data suggests that whole blood is at least as effective as component therapy in trauma resuscitation although data is limited to relatively small volumes (< 6 units). The effect of leukoreduction on platelet function and other hemostatic markers appears to be small in vitro, but clinical data is lacking. There is virtually no data on massive resuscitation with whole blood (> 10 units) except for case reports.


Resuscitation with whole blood appears to be safe and offers some advantages over component therapy. More clinical data is needed on the safety of whole blood in massive resuscitation and the potential hemostatic effects of whole blood transfusion.


Whole blood Resuscitation Trauma Coagulopathy Transfusion Blood banking 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Gallaher and Dr. Schreiber have nothing to disclose.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

All reported studies/experiments with human or animal subjects performed by the authors were performed in accordance with all applicable ethical standards including the Helsinki declaration and its amendments, institutional/national research committee standards, and international/national/institutional guidelines.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity of North Carolina School of MedicineChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryOregon Health & Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA

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