Balanced resuscitation: application to the paediatric trauma population : Current Opinion in Pediatrics

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EMERGENCY AND CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE: Edited by Jean E Klig and Clifford W Bogue

Balanced resuscitation: application to the paediatric trauma population

Georgette, Nathan; Lipton, Galina; Li, Joyce

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Current Opinion in Pediatrics 35(3):p 303-308, June 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/MOP.0000000000001233


Purpose of review 

Trauma is the leading cause of death in children over 5 years old. Early mortality is associated with trauma-induced coagulopathy (TIC), with balanced resuscitation potentially mitigating the effects of TIC. We review TIC, balanced resuscitation and the best evidence for crystalloid fluid versus early blood products, massive transfusion protocol (MTP) and the optimal ratio for blood products.

Recent findings 

Crystalloid fluids have been associated with adverse events in paediatric trauma patients. However, the best way to implement early blood products remains unclear; MTP has only shown improved time to blood products without clear clinical improvement. The indications to start blood products are also currently under investigation with several scoring systems and clinical indications being studied. Current studies on the blood product ratio suggest a 1 : 1 ratio for plasma:pRBC is likely ideal, but prospective studies are needed to further support its use.


Balanced resuscitation strategies of minimal crystalloid use and early administration of blood products are associated with improved morbidity in paediatric trauma patients but unclear mortality benefit. Current evidence suggests that the utilization of MTPs with 1 : 1 plasma:pRBC ratio may improve morbidity, but more research is needed.

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