Hashmi Zain 400x300Zain Hashmi, M.D., an assistant professor in UAB’s Division of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, recently published an article, “Nationwide estimates of the need for prehospital blood products after injury,” in Transfusion, the journal of the Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies.

Hashmi, along with Jan Jansen, MBBS, Ph.D., FRCS, Jeffrey Kerby, M.D., Ph.D., FACS, and John Holcomb, M.D., FACS, sought to estimate the number of patients who may potentially benefit from prehospital blood product resuscitation after injury in the United States.

Prior research shows that resuscitation using blood products in the prehospital setting decreases the risk of death among severely injured patients. But, prior studies didn’t examine how many patients may potentially benefit from this life-saving intervention.

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Used a large national database, the National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS), they found that 54,000 to 900,000 injured patients may potentially benefit from prehospital blood product resuscitation.

This study also shows that, at best, less than 0.4% of eligible trauma patients currently receive blood product resuscitation in the prehospital phase.

As for how to use these findings to improve trauma care across Alabama, Hashmi says the division is in the early phase of discussions to understand what the local needs are for prehospital blood products and how to meet them in a sustainable way.

“This study highlights two points,” Hashmi explained. “One, we will need to collect/distribute/manage a lot more blood in the prehospital space to meet and sustain this demand nationwide, and two, the wide range in the estimate underscores the need to develop a consensus definition of hemodynamic instability to standardize prehospital transfusion policies.”