The use of low-titer group O whole blood (LTOWB) in military and civilian trauma centers shows no significant difference in outcomes compared with component therapy.


To compare the use of LTOWB with standard component therapy in nontrauma patients requiring massive transfusion at a major academic medical center.


This is a retrospective cohort study comparing nontrauma patients who received at least 1 unit of cold-stored LTOWB during a massive transfusion with those who received only blood component therapy during a massive transfusion. Primary outcomes are mortality at 24 hours and 30 days. Secondary outcomes are degree of hemolysis, length of inpatient hospital stay, and time to delivery of blood products.


One hundred twenty massive transfusion activations using 1570 blood products from 103 admissions were identified during the study period. Fifty-five admissions were included in the component cohort and 48 in the LTOWB cohort. There were no significant differences in primary outcomes: 24-hour mortality odds ratio, 2.12 (P = .14); 30-day mortality odds ratio, 1.10 (P = .83). Length of stay was found to be statistically significantly different and was 1.58 days shorter in the LTOWB cohort compared with the component cohort (95% CI, 1.44–1.73; P < .001). There were no significant differences in the remaining secondary outcomes.


LTOWB therapy appears no worse than using standard component therapy in nontrauma patients requiring a massive transfusion activation, suggesting that LTOWB is a reasonable alternative to component therapy in nontrauma, civilian hospital patients, even when blood type is known.

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Author notes

The authors have no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.