Aims: The Scottish Transfusion and Laboratory Support in Trauma Group (TLSTG) previously reviewed all National Code Red activations between June 1st 2013 and October 31st 2015, generating a number of recommendations to be adopted to optimise the transfusion support given to patients following major trauma in Scotland. A repeat National survey was undertaken for all patients for whom Code Red was activated between 1st November 2015 and 31st December 2017.
Methods: A clinical and transfusion lead for each centre entered anonymised data onto a secure electronic database (REDCap).
Results: During the study period there were 66 activations (24 South-East of Scotland, 32 West, 10 East). Mean age was 45 years and 88% were male. Mean Injury Severity Score (ISS) was 28 with 75% blunt trauma. 93% (62/66) of Code Red patients received blood components with a 300% increase in pre-hospital transfusion (48 vs 16 patients; p<0.001). Median time from 999 call to Code Red activation reduced significantly to 37 minutes from 70 minutes (p=0.01) giving the hospital more time to prepare transfusion components. 78% patients received pre-hospital tranexamic acid (TXA; improved from 70%, p=0.67, ns). Concentrated Red Cell (CRC): Fresh Frozen Plasma (FFP) ratio was always less than 2:1 and below 1.4:1 at 90 minutes, compared to 2013-15 when CRC: FFP ratios did not drop to below 2:1 until 150 min after arrival in the ED. Mean time for Full Blood Count (FBC; 46 mins versus 81; p=0.004) and clotting (53 mins versus 119; p<0.001) result was reduced. Survival to hospital discharge was unchanged (66% versus 63%; p=1.00 ns).
Conclusions: Code Red practice has improved in several ways since our last survey with earlier Code Red activation, more patients receiving pre-hospital transfusion and improved CRC:FFP ratios. Interventions such as earlier on scene Code Red activation, provision of pre-hospital TXA, Emergency Department (ED) resuscitation room pre-thawed FFP and point-of-care viscoelastic coagulation testing have all contributed to these improvements in transfusion practice in Scotland.