Explaining the excess morbidity of emergency general surgery: Packed red blood cell and fresh frozen plasma transfusion practices are associated with major complications in nonmassively transfused patients

Document Type



General Surgery


Background: Intraoperative blood product transfusions carry risk but are often necessary in emergency general surgery (EGS).
Methods: We queried the American College of Surgery-National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database for EGS patients (2008 to 2012) at 2 tertiary academic hospitals. Outcomes included rates of high packed red blood cell (pRBC) use (estimated blood loss:pRBC < 350:1) and high fresh frozen plasma (FFP) use (FFP:pRBC >1:1.5). Patients were then stratified by exposure to high blood product use. Stepwise logistic regression was performed.
Results: Of 992 patients, 33% underwent EGS. Estimated blood loss was similar between EGS and non-EGS (282 vs 250 cc, P = .288). EGS patients were more often exposed to high pRBC use (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 2.01, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.11 to 3.66) and high-FFP use (OR = 2.75, 95% CI: = 1.10 to 6.84). High blood product use was independently associated with major nonbleeding complications (high pRBC: OR = 1.73, 95% CI = 1.04 to 2.91; high FFP: OR = 2.15, 95% CI = 1.15 to 4.02).
Conclusions: Despite similar blood loss, EGS patients received higher rates of intraoperative blood product transfusion, which was independently associated with major complication.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University

Publication (Name of Journal)

American journal of surgery