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BackgroundIt is uncertain whether the duration of red-cell storage affects mortality after transfusion among critically ill adults.MethodsIn an international, multicenter, randomized, double-blind trial, we assigned critically ill adults to receive either the freshest available, compatible, allogeneic red cells (short-term storage group) or standard-issue (oldest available), compatible, allogeneic red cells (long-term storage group). The primary outcome was 90-day mortality.ResultsFrom November 2012 through December 2016, at 59 centers in five countries, 4994 patients underwent randomization and 4919 (98.5%) were included in the primary analysis. Among the 2457 patients in the short-term storage group, the mean storage duration was 11.8 days. Among the 2462 patients in the long-term storage group, the mean storage duration was 22.4 days. At 90 days, there were 610 deaths (24.8%) in the short-term storage group and 594 (24.1%) in the long-term storage group (absolute risk difference, 0.7 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], -1.7 to 3.1; P=0.57). At 180 days, the absolute risk difference was 0.4 percentage points (95% CI, -2.1 to 3.0; P=0.75). Most of the prespecified secondary measures showed no significant between-group differences in outcome.ConclusionsThe age of transfused red cells did not affect 90-day mortality among critically ill adults. (Funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and others; TRANSFUSE Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry number, ACTRN12612000453886 ; number, NCT01638416 .).

Original publication





The New England journal of medicine

Publication Date





1858 - 1867


From the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University (D.J.C., Z.K.M., A.N., B.A., C.A., M.B., R.B., D.G., K.-M.K., L.M., C.F.), the Department of Intensive Care, Alfred Hospital (D.J.C., A.N., D.G.), the Department of Haematology, Monash Health (Z.K.M.), the Department of Intensive Care, Austin Hospital (R.B.), the University of Melbourne (R.B., C.F.), Research and Development, Australian Red Cross Blood Service (D.O.I.), and the Department of Intensive Care, Western Health (C.F.) - all in Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Irish Critical Care Clinical Trials Network, University College Dublin Clinical Research Centre at St. Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin (A.N.); the Département de Médecine Intensive Réanimation, Brest University Hospital, Brest, France (C.A.); the Department of Anesthesiology (K.-M.K.) and the Division of Intensive Care, Department of Anesthesiology (V.P.), Intensive Care and Pain Medicine, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki; and the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand and the Department of Critical Care Medicine, Auckland City Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand (C.M.).


TRANSFUSE Investigators and the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society Clinical Trials Group, Humans, Critical Illness, Blood Preservation, Treatment Outcome, Erythrocyte Transfusion, Transplantation, Homologous, Double-Blind Method, Time Factors, Adult, Middle Aged, Female, Male, Intention to Treat Analysis, Kaplan-Meier Estimate