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Implementation of a Prehospital Air Medical Thawed Plasma Program: Is It Even Feasible?

Peter W Adams, Kayla A Warren, Frank X Guyette, Mark H Yazer, Joshua B Brown, Brian J Daily, Richard S Miller, Brain G Harbrecht, Jeffrey A Claridge, Herb A Phelan, William R Witham, A Tyler Putnam, Brian S Zuckerbraun, Matthew D Neal, Jason L Sperry
Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 2019 June 13

INTRODUCTION: The PAMPer trial demonstrated a 30-day survival benefit among hypotensive trauma patients treated with prehospital plasma during air medical transport. We characterized resources, costs and feasibility of air medical prehospital plasma program implementation.

METHODS: We performed a secondary analysis using data derived from the recent PAMPer trial. Intervention patients received thawed plasma (5-day shelf-life). Unused plasma units were recycled back to blood bank affiliates, when possible. Distribution method and capability of recycling varied across sites. We determined the status of plasma units deployed, utilized, wasted, and returned. We inventoried thawed plasma use and annualized costs for distribution and recovery.

RESULTS: The PAMPer trial screened 7,275 patients and 5,103 plasma units were deployed across 22 air medical bases over a 42-month time period. Only 368 units (7.2%) of this total thawed plasma pool were provided to plasma randomized PAMPer patients. Of the total plasma pool, 3,716 (72.8%) units of plasma were returned to the blood bank with the potential for transfusion prior to expiration and 1,019 (20.0%) thawed plasma units were deemed wasted for this analysis. The estimated average annual cost of implementation of a thawed plasma program per air medical base at an average courier distance would be between $24,343 and $30,077 depending on the ability to recycle plasma and distance of courier delivery required.

CONCLUSION: A prehospital plasma program utilizing thawed plasma is resource intensive. Plasma waste can be minimized depending on trauma center and blood bank specific logistics. Implementation of a thawed plasma program can occur with financial cost. Products with a longer shelf-life such as liquid plasma or freeze-dried plasma may provide a more cost-effective prehospital product relative to thawed plasma.

STUDY TYPE: Secondary Analysis of Clinical Trial LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: III.


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