Despite the increasing amount of evidence supporting its use, cell salvage (CS) remains an underutilized resource in operative trauma care in many hospitals. We aim to evaluate the utilization of CS in adult trauma patients and associated outcomes to provide evidence-based recommendations.
A systematic review was conducted using PubMed, Google Scholar, and CINAHL. Articles evaluating clinical outcomes and the cost-effectiveness of trauma patients utilizing CS were included. The primary study outcome was mortality rates. The secondary outcomes included complication rates (sepsis and infection) and ICU-LOS. The tertiary outcome was the cost-effectiveness of CS.
This systematic review included 9 studies that accounted for a total of 1119 patients that received both CS and allogeneic transfusion (n = 519), vs allogeneic blood transfusions only (n = 601). In-hospital mortality rates ranged from 13% to 67% in patients where CS was used vs 6%-65% in those receiving allogeneic transfusions only; however, these findings were not significantly different (P = .21-.56). Similarly, no significant differences were found between sepsis and infection rates or ICU-LOS in those patients where CS usage was compared to allogeneic transfusions alone. Of the 4 studies that provided comparisons on cost, 3 found the use of CS to be significantly more cost-effective.
Cell salvage can be used as an effective method of blood transfusion for trauma patients without compromising patient outcomes, in addition to its possible cost advantages. Future studies are needed to further investigate the long-term effects of cell salvage utilization in trauma patients.