Abstract

In July 2006 hostilities erupted in Israel/Lebanon. Reported here is the experience of three medical centers in Northern Israel during 33 days of the warfare; the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa - a level I trauma center, the Rebecca Sieff Hospital in Safed and the Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariah - both secondary trauma centers. 504, 1138 and 868 wounded were presented to the three medical centers and 281, 415 and 195, respectively, required hospitalization. Sixty, 32 and 15 hospitalized patients were concomitantly transfused in each corresponding center, representing 20%, 7% and 7%, respectively, of admitted patients. Patients with an injury severity score of ≥16 had a higher need for blood products than those less severely injured, with a mean packed red blood cell (PRBC) transfusion of 7 versus 4 units (p=0.03) and FFP transfusion of 13 versus 1.5 units (p=0.002), respectively. Twenty four soldiers and one civilian had massive transfusions and twenty three of these patients survived. The median ratio between transfused fresh frozen plasma (FFP) and packed red blood cells (PRBC) was 0.8, ranging from a ratio of 0.25 to 1.3. Among 25 massively transfused patients 21 received cryoprecipitate and 19 - platelets. The median prothrombin time (INR) and partial thromboplastin time (PTT) increased during the first 2 hours after admission from 1.29 to 1.51 and from 33.6 seconds to 39 seconds, respectively. In the cohort of massively transfused patients 3 individuals additionally received 3 g of tranexamic acid, while another 2 patients were treated with recombinant factor VII. In conclusion, massively transfused patients with wartime penetrating injuries have an ongoing coagulopathy despite vigorous replacement therapy, which needs to be continued until the patients are stabilized. Early intervention and consultation in the Emergency Room by transfusion-service specialists is essential to the overall management of critically and massively wounded patients in wartime.

Wounded (hospitalized)Transfused patientsPacked RBC unitsFFP unitsCryo unitsPlatelet unitsMassive transfusion (patients)
Rambam 504 (281) 60 463 413 266 258 21 
Rebecca Sieff 1138 (415) 32 134 34 50 30 
Western Galilee 868 (195) 15 71 68 51 10 
Wounded (hospitalized)Transfused patientsPacked RBC unitsFFP unitsCryo unitsPlatelet unitsMassive transfusion (patients)
Rambam 504 (281) 60 463 413 266 258 21 
Rebecca Sieff 1138 (415) 32 134 34 50 30 
Western Galilee 868 (195) 15 71 68 51 10 

Author notes

Disclosure: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.