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Recent studies have implicated the differences in the ABO blood system as a potential risk for various diseases, including hemostatic disorders and hemorrhage. In this study, we evaluated the impact of the difference in the ABO blood type on mortality in patients with severe trauma.
A retrospective observational study was conducted in two tertiary emergency critical care medical centers in Japan. Patients with trauma with an Injury Severity Score (ISS) > 15 were included. The association between the different blood types (type O versus other blood types) and the outcomes of all-cause mortality, cause-specific mortalities (exsanguination, traumatic brain injury, and others), ventilator-free days (VFD), and total transfusion volume were evaluated using univariate and multivariate competing-risk regression models. Moreover, the impact of blood type O on the outcomes was assessed using regression coefficients in the multivariate analysis adjusted for age, ISS, and the Revised Trauma Score (RTS).
A total of 901 patients were included in this study. The study population was divided based on the ABO blood type: type O, 284 (32%); type A, 285 (32%); type B, 209 (23%); and type AB, 123 (13%). Blood type O was associated with high mortality (28% in patients with blood type O versus 11% in patients with other blood types; p < 0.001). Moreover, this association was observed in a multivariate model (adjusted odds ratio = 2.86, 95% confidence interval 1.84–4.46; p < 0.001). The impact of blood type O on all-cause in-hospital mortality was comparable to 12 increases in the ISS, 1.5 decreases in the RTS, and 26 increases in age. Furthermore, blood type O was significantly associated with higher cause-specific mortalities and shorter VFD compared with the other blood types; however, a significant difference was not observed in the transfusion volume between the two groups.
Blood type O was significantly associated with high mortality in severe trauma patients and might have a great impact on outcomes. Further studies elucidating the mechanism underlying this association are warranted to develop the appropriate intervention.