Prehospital Blood Transfusions in Pediatric Patients by a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service
Objective: In the prehospital setting, the Nijmegen and Rotterdam helicopter emergency medical services administer packed red blood cells to critically ill or injured pediatric patients. Blood is given on scene or during transport and is derived from nearby hospitals. We summarize our experience with prehospital blood use in pediatric patients. Methods: The databases from both the Nijmegen and Rotterdam helicopter emergency medical services were reviewed for all pediatric (< 18 years) patients who received packed red blood cells on scene or during transport to the hospital. Results: Between 2007 and 2015, 10 pediatric patients out of approximately 2,400 pediatric patients received blood in the prehospital setting. The median Injury Severity Score was 41. Seven hospitals delivered blood in the prehospital setting at the scene. All patients were in hypovolemic shock. Two patients died. Two patients were believed to be unexpected survivors; 1 was predicted by the Trauma and Injury Severity Score, and a second unexpected survivor was a neonate who was in hypovolemic shock and cardiopulmonary arrest. Conclusion: The incidence of prehospital use of blood in injured or critically ill children is low. This intervention presented a potential to limit acid-base disturbance, low hemoglobin levels, and coagulopathy in this group. We believe this cohort also contains 2 unexpected survivors.